by Brianna Crandall — October 22, 2021 — While the motives behind active shooter incidents can vary, attendees at a seminar presented at this month’s BOMA 2021 International Conference and Expo learned that in most cases, building owners and managers are ill-prepared for such incidents.
The seminar, “Anatomy of an Active Shooting: Survival as a Planned Outcome,” was presented by Lawrence Dietz, general counsel for TAL Global, an international corporate security and risk assessment firm, and Michael Julian of National Business Investigations.
The session, hailed by attendees as “riveting,” set into historical context the active shooting threat from its genesis, believed to be April 1891, when a shooter targeted students in a parochial school playground, to the sporadic but ongoing epidemic we are witnessing today.
After Dietz point out the lack of preparedness of many owners and facilities managers (FMs), he continued:
Complicating matters, very often building owners and managers find they are named as co-defendants if litigation follows the assault.
Dietz told his audience that based on his experience, multimillion-dollar financial settlements are not uncommon after active shooter incidents.
However, the panelists also discussed ways to minimize the possibility of such a horrific event. Among those cited at the presentation were the following:
- Enhancements to building architecture that can improve security. This includes the addition of barriers, interior access control systems, and architectural “inhibitors” such as turnstiles, elevator management systems, and ballistic-rated glass or coatings.
- Conducting a vulnerability (risk) assessment. While there are different types of vulnerability assessments, the goal with each is to identify, classify, and prioritize security weaknesses, including active shooter incidents.
- Becoming familiar with a program known as Assess, Leave, Impede, Violence, Expose (A.L.I.V.E.), created by panelist Julian. This program provides steps building owners/managers can take to respond to an active shooter situation swiftly and effectively.
The session explored enhancements in architecture, security protocol, and owner/manager mindset that can prevent an assault, inhibit progression of an assault, and bring a timely conclusion to the incident. The presenters taught specific terms; proven methods of preventing mass shooting; how to keep people alive once the shooting starts; and strategies for recovery of structure, contents and psyche.
Visit TAL Global’s Knowledge Center to access additional active shooter and workplace violence prevention resources such as:
- Here are 9 De-Escalation Techniques You Should Know
- Here They Are: Our Workplace Violence Polls Results
- Firing Employees: Lessons Learned from Shattered Glass
- When it Comes to Situational Awareness, I’d Like You to Visualize This:
- Are You Aware of these Active Shooter Facts?
- #SecurityInsights: What To Do if a Shooting Incident Is Happening Right Now
- Security Insights: 2 Things We Can Learn from the Recent San Jose Shootings
- Is There a Contagion Effect When It Comes to Mass Shootings?
- School Shooter Warning Signs
TAL Global also offers this pandemic recovery resource:
Over the past 20 years, TAL Global has worked with organizations worldwide, helping them prevent workplace violence and protect people and places as well as traveling C-suite executives. Today, due to the rash of active shooting incidents, the firm is also working with organizations all over the world to help them prevent such events.