Safety and security risks are everywhere — at our places of work, schools, sporting events, concerts, shopping malls, government buildings, and even hospitals. However, the security personnel tasked with protecting us can’t be everywhere at all times and often don’t have the information they need to prevent a potential incident.
The process of leveraging community-sourced risk intelligence is based on the principle that members of school communities know what normal looks like in their everyday lives and are capable of detecting deviations from that norm. We know when something appears dangerous, when a person is acting suspiciously, or when a friend or colleague is in crisis. We see, hear, and learn things every day that could help prevent a safety or security incident from happening.
That’s why it’s important for K-12 school districts to engage members of their community and tap into the knowledge that exists about potential safety or security risks. The right tip at the right time could prevent the next school safety or security incident, including the next school shooting.
In the vast majority of cases of school shootings studied by the National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC), the attackers were making their intentions known that they were going to target the school, a person at the school, or staff at the school for an attack. They had also previously made threats against their intended target, according to NTAC chief Dr. Lina Alathari.
Despite what we know about observable warning behaviors and the ability of vigilant bystanders to report their concerns in time for schools and law enforcement to intervene, only 17% of the schools that experienced an attack had any type of system in place to notify school staff or administrators of threatening or concerning student behaviors before an attack. Likewise, few states had implemented comprehensive statewide reporting programs at the times of the attacks.
Community reporting of concerns about potential risks is the cornerstone of any school safety and security program. The deployment of mobile reporting apps that provide students, teachers, and staff with discreet reporting capabilities, including anonymous reporting, as well as automated routing of reports to the appropriate individuals and agencies is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ addition to a school’s safety and security program. Reporting is the centerpiece of any prevention strategy.
The Vector LiveSafe Tip Reporting & Safety Communications Platform incorporates the powerful capabilities of today’s smartphone mobile devices to lower the bar for people to communicate by enhancing their ability to efficiently and effectively submit security and safety information to those responsible for security. The platform allows people to submit security and safety tips, providing as much information as they desire. More importantly, the platform is designed to identify the types of information that would be helpful for security personnel to have, taking the guesswork out of the process of reporting for community members.
For more on the importance of early warning and threat detection, download our whitepaper: The Guide to Early Warning Threat Detection and Reporting For School Safety and Security Programs. Download Now