Security experts believe schools should do more to be ready for shootings

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DENVER -- A Colorado security expert believes schools across the country should be doing more to prepare for “active shooter scenarios.”

That scenario played out Friday when a teenaged gunman entered Arapahoe High School in Centennial and shot and critically injured one student before turning his weapon on himself.

“We’re at the point where an active shooter emergency action plan needs to be mandatory and practiced at least annually,” said Jimmy Graham, who runs CQD (Close Quarters Defense) Denver in Castle Rock.

Graham, who spent 15 years as a Navy Seal, now trains schools, government agencies and others in emergency response.

Although school districts have beefed up security post-Columbine, Graham thinks more comprehensive response plans involving students, faculty and staff at schools are needed.

“Everybody in the situation has a role, no matter what it is,” he said Monday. “If they’re on station they have a role. It might just be gathering people and getting them safely out of the building on a predesignated route.”

Although a quick response by Arapahoe High School’s School Resource Officer limited Friday’s attack to just 80 seconds, Graham said more frequent training at schools in general would better prepare schools for future incidents.

He said surveillance cameras and other new technology is great but not the entire answer.

“The big question in the industry is what are you doing right now to empower your people,” said Graham. “As a father listening to that radio, as these people are running up and reuniting with their kids, that’s what I think of. I don’t want to be that dad.”

11 comments

  • quickdraw53

    one big choice would be to either put an armed officer in each school or tell our government liberals to let the teacher carry concelled weapons. a armed teacher could have done what that officer did and would not have to wait till the police arrive

  • Aaron K

    What the article doesn’t say is that there will be more shootings as long as news-ertainment keeps glorifing the shooter. Publishing his name an face constantly leads to copycats per the FBI. But as long as news for ratings exists they will just be despicable and put his face everywhere, they don’t care AT ALL that more kids will die. In fact news stations love it because their ratings go way up.

  • Liberal Sanity

    Why aren’t authorities cavity searching all students at every entrance and exit? Who knows what they are carrying in and out that’s making them so crazed?? And BTW, what were the political beliefs of the ‘judges’ that gave this gunchild a poor score, and defeated his self-confidence? Furthermore; why do these shootings happen in white suburbia Colorado? Seems like a pattern, as if the cell phone towers are frying their brains with evil thoughts? Random is one thing, but excessive pattern is proof! End the frequencies! Save the children from these radioactive microwaves! If it saves just one life; wouldn’t it be worth it?

  • cardsfan78

    Need to set-up video surveillance that feeds to a single room where TWO armed (side arms AND high power gun safes) SRO’s can watch the perimeter of the school. When a potential emergency presents itself, the SRO’s can immediately lock down the school BEFORE the perp gets into the school and proceed to the direction of the threat. One SRO can continue to watch the surveillance feed while keeping radio contact with the other SRO and giving him crucial info until the perp is confronted. Once there is a visual by the first SRO the second SRO can proceed to back-up the first SRO at the scene. Sensors can monitor all doors and windows (just like home security) and notify the SRO’s in the surveillance room via a lighted board in the event of a lock down.

    For those of you that are “worried” that your kids might see an armed SRO in the school. Both SRO’s could be in the surveillance room during recess, lunches, breaks, or between classes. Once the kids are in class the SRO’s can patrol the school grounds…again one SRO in the surveillance room and one in radio contact……I myself, would feel more secure with the SRO’s visible and intermingling with the students!!!! But for the liberals they could be hidden if need be…..

  • cardsfan78

    The above services should be paid for by the FEDERAL GOV. The amount of money already wasted by trying to force gun control down the law abiding citizens throats could have paid for a majority of the security already!!!

  • Ana C

    What more can the schools do? Again parents to be scared to be involved in your kids life! It is so much easier to blame everyone else when a tragedy like this happens. Teachers take contronl of your class dicipline the kids get the parents involved if the kid is acting up. When I was in school and I acted the fool if the teacher told me I am calling your dad I would straiting up real quick. People stop blaming everyone else.

  • shelly

    It should be clear by now that guards are needed at schools – but they are no use if they are not armed guards. This is a very sad commentary on our times, but if the alternative is the unacceptable one of a child being hurt or killed, then this is what has to be done. It should also be VERY difficult for ANYONE to buy a weapon.

  • Roscoe

    What happens if one of the kids gets tired of playing the role of perpetrator and removes his hands from the top of his head ? … SWAT members immediately blow holes through their head and heart ? ?

  • cardsfan78

    Hey Roscoe……Do you remember that thing we used to abide by when we were growing up??? It’s called “DOING WHAT YOUR TOLD TO DO BY A PERSON OF AUTHORITY”!!!!! But I have to assume by your response that you’re too young for that!!!

    SWAT won’t “blow holes” through the kid as long as he doesn’t reach for a weapon…..but it sure will make them suspicious!!! Besides, if the kid has the s h i t scared out of them through the actions of an active shooter at school, I don’t think he’ll/she’ll have a problem of “playing the role of a perpetrator” for a little while!!!!

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