Where do we feel safest?

In our homes?

In our schools?

At the grocery store? Mall?

I guess it really all depends on your surroundings. Whether or not you’re in a secure neighbourhood or in a good school system. Location Location Location.

Next – what you’re safe from is another issue. Safety from the “bad guys”, weapons, accidents all also vary.

With the five year anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shootings upon us, does this have any one who stated a school as a safe place second guessing themselves?

Since incidents such as Sandy Hook, or Columbine and many other school shootings that have taken place – security has definitely been ramped up. It is now not uncommon to see police officers roaming the halls. Video surveillance has been upgraded and intensified. With the addition of students practicing fire drills, participating in lockdown drills in the event of an attack is now part of the new normal as well. Granted – living in a smaller Canadian town, I may not speak for all schools being subject to this newer precaution. As with anything to do with security – a Threat and Risk assessment would be done to weigh the importance of a lockdown procedure.

Just as whether or not police presence in specific schools would be justifiable or not.

School security varies in extremes. This is all mainly down to the location factor. While a school in the middle of a rural remote area of the country would have very little security measures outside of dealing with your child bully and your other average adolescent ‘crime’, an inner city school in a rougher area may have students walking through metal detectors to start their day.

Is this right? No. These are children. They shouldn’t have to be subjected to the behaviour that warrants this intense scrutiny. Is it necessary? Possibly. If you had no other option but to have your child at this school due to logistics or economic social standing – would you not want to ensure they are as protected as possible?

Threat and risk assessment.

You don’t have to be a security professional to conduct your own assessment – and I assure you that you do such a thing every day just getting out of bed. Whether you’re mentally cognizant of it or not – You weigh the plus’ and minus’ of your actions. Having a security professionals opinion obviously helps insecurity detail these matters as they should be more aware of issues and non issues within the area. Luckily, when it comes down to where you send your child to school – or if you go to the grocery store or mall for that matter, the guess work has been done for you. All that matters is if you feel comfortable or not.

Security is there to make you comfortable. While at times it can come off as overbearing and potentially make you self conscious of your surroundings, knowing that there is someone there to protect you is an added layer of comfort.

So when you go out in public, or send your child to that school with maximum level security – you know that things might happen. But security is there to prevent incidents, or in the very least, ideally soften the blow.

Now this all being said – when you go back to Sandy Hook or Columbine, these weren’t high threat areas with any known security issues.

Can we prevent such attacks again? Most likely not.

The Sandy Hook shootings took place by a mentally unstable individual. Unfortunately this is one of the most difficult things to protect against. Theoretically – these type of people could strike anytime, any where, with no reason or warning.

Do we walk around in kevlar vests and bubble suits to protect ourselves against the not probable? Most likely no.

Nor do we implement costly security systems against something that is most likely not going to happen.

Its a horrible situation to be in or deal with.

While countless lives have been lost due to these circumstances, short of living in an armed guard society, there are few security resources available to constantly protect against the unexpected.

This is where programs that help these individuals step in and step up. Programs that protect these people from not only others – but themselves. Prevention is key.

In the meantime, keep in tune with your surroundings and with the individuals that surround you. If we feel comfortable or not are the things that must set the tone for our personal security. Outside of that – keeping faith in the security professionals that have a duty to protect us is what should help us sleep a little better at night.

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.