In light of recent events, due to this being a blog about security, I think it would only be right – or current – to bring up the topic on most peoples minds right now.
What happened was atrocious. No parent should have to send their child to school, only to never see them again. What kind of world do we live in where a school built for nurturing children turns into the same building that ends them so brutally? As a parent, I can’t even fathom having to field that call, or get that news. The thought itself is sickening.
This was a secure place. A teacher who also provided security was trying to protect those kids and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Men and Women in the security industry, wake each day prepared for the unexpected – but they never think or hope it will actually happen.
Security ranges as well. Security in a high risk environment goes to work with higher expectations for action and ready to fight and protect. Security in lower risk environments obviously have less concern and a lot of times, can even get slightly complacent dealing with the mundane ins and outs of a normal day.
I can assure you that Security working in schools – especially in Canada, most likely go to work with the same attitude and readiness as someone going to sit at a desk. While they may be more mentally and physically prepared should something happen, they’re not walking in looking over their shoulders.
Security in Ontario is not legally allowed to be armed – unless of course they’re part of a police force. Now this is a very opinionated topic right now and debates are strong currently, but this is how we do things here. And so far – it more or less works.
Canada has a stricter level of gun control then our neighbours to the South. I can bet that most Canadians are sleeping a little easier this week because of that fact alone.
Things do happen here – we’re not perfect. But we generally don’t have massacres of any scale – especially involving children.
What does our Security do thats different then armed Security? Most likely, not a whole lot. In some cases, we might talk first. Or better yet – listen. Canadians are always almost patronized for being the apologetic sympathizers who are usually willing to lend an ear. Is that really a bad thing?
For Security to listen, and respond in a verbal manner, can sometimes go leaps and bounds in a potentially hostile situation. Sometimes these people just don’t have anywhere to go or anyone to talk to. Having someone that all of a sudden ‘cares’ can throw them off.
Obviously this isn’t always the case. Especially in situations where someone comes in armed and firing. If they’re not talking – theres nothing to listen to.
So what does unarmed Security do when guns are going off and words are falling on deaf ears?
Everyone in the vicinity needs to get out of harms way – and quickly.
If you’re able to disarm the person and are fairly confident in your success rate, that is your call. As Security in Ontario, your average job isn’t to apprehend shooters or disarm them by any means. You’re securing property and people. Save them first – then worry about battling someone with more ammunition then yourself.
One thing you can do is yell that there is a shooter – or whatever the case may be. Yell the type of weapon. In the event someone is able to do something, knowing what they’re dealing with is half the battle. Otherwise, evacuate as many people as possible and head into lockdown mode.
Obviously this option has its positives and negatives. Locking things down means no one else can get in. However, it also means no one is getting out. Including your shooter.
Schools are (unfortunately) starting to have lock down drills as regular as a fire drill. They practice what they should do in the event of a hostile situation,
In some cases, the best or only option is to lock yourself in a classroom, staying away from doors and windows.
In one of the many posts and articles I’ve read this week, one made mention of sending her children to school with a door stop in their backpack.,
For some reason – this stuck out. Yes, it clearly is a little bit different then all of the horrific and heart breaking articles, but also, what is a door stop going to do to protect you?
The door stop is meant to help in lockdown situations.
While you may be forced to lock yourselves in a room, there is always the possibility that whoever is terrorizing the building, may be so worked up they may shoot off door knobs and locks to gain entry.
The door stop is meant to deter them further.
Lock your door, and wedge the door stop there. In the event the handle is blown off or what have you – that little triangle provides that extra tiny bit of security.
It may be just enough to buy you time to escape through a window or hide further. It could also frustrate the person so they move on.
Security comes in all shapes and sizes. Just because someone is built to fill a door frame doesn’t mean they’re the right person for the job. Intelligence and wit play a huge roll.
That door stop is something unique and not often thought about. Its easy to obtain and carry around. Its actually quite clever.
Its by no means a be all or end all, but its something.
And right now – I feel like something is needed.
Something more then a door stop – but its a start.
Guest Blogger Rayna Davies
Rayna Davies is a graduate and practitioner of Business Management. She has developed an expertise in blogging, covering subjects like travel, world events and security. Having grown up with a father who has developed an expertise in Physical Security and Executive Protection in the RCMP and two major corporations, she has personally observed and experienced many security details. These experiences have included personally meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and many celebrities. She presently assists Sentinel Security in Executive Protection workshops and guest blogging and also assists Gloprosec Preventative Services in Intelligence gathering and Business Administration. Her passions include World travel, having visited every continent. She currently is on maternity leave and providing daily close protection for a baby and a toddler and spending time with her husband who is a Police Officer.