How to Manage Active Shooter Incidents in K – 12 Schools: Pairing Technology with Strategy

It was about 2 p.m. one afternoon when Shannon Neubauer found himself walking down an empty hallway at the Nebraska junior high school he had attended nearly 25 years earlier. As he reminisced, he heard sounds coming from the boys’ bathroom. He walked through the doorway and saw three students attacking a fourth boy. He was aware only school personnel should intervene, so he quickly exited and notified a teacher across the hall.

It was pure luck that Shannon happened to be passing by the restroom. The irony is that he is a security professional by trade, who was at the school to discuss installing additional cameras and other equipment to an existing unified security platform – with audio elements that can “listen” 24 hours a day for incidents just like the one he witnessed.

“Technology is giving us a way to take fallible humans out of safety situations, and that’s a good thing, especially when it comes to active shooter situations in K – 12 schools,” Neubauer said. “People can’t be everywhere at once. And we can’t always depend on humans to follow through in the heat of the moment.”

It’s not unusual for training to fail during a violent event. “During a panic, the school secretary may forget to press a panic button, or they might be the first one targeted by a shooter,” Neubauer explained, “If a manual panic button protocol fails for whatever reason, then lives are doubly at risk.”

Schools are not the only ones that need to remove the human element when seconds count. As technological tools have advanced over the past few decades, schools, retail establishments, government buildings and many other venues increasingly have been able to use technology to improve security – and save lives.

Today’s best-practices for school security systems are composed of three main elements: access control, event detection and response, and having these all feed into a unified security platform.

The key is to combine technology with well-thought-out strategies and training.


Integrator Vetting Survey: 10 Questions to Ask a New Business-Technology Integrator to Ensure their Success, and Yours

A business-technology integrator’s level of expertise and capabilities are often unknown quantities until you’ve had a chance to work with them closely on a project. All too often, they struggle to deliver what they said they could and then you end up with an even worse problem than you started with – or you spend a great deal of money and realize you’re not getting what you expected from it.

“You’d be surprised at how many enterprises tolerate companies who consistently fall short of delivering on their commitments,” said Brian Freeman, National Sales Manager of Prime Communications Inc. (PCI). “Things fall through the cracks due to a lack of process and there’s no way to know what’s going on until you have to deal with those problems on top of the technology needs you had in the first place.”


Low-Impact, Secure Medical Equipment Deployment in Critical Hospital Settings

Imagine this: A technician is working within the NICU unit of a Midwestern hospital. As he begins uploading patient monitoring software in one of the rooms, the patient and her family are ushered in. The family is visibly distraught. During this very private, devastating moment, the technician must make a series of decisions. Should he stay and continue uploading software? Should he offer condolences to the family? What if someone asks him for a drink of water from the sink behind his ladder? If he must stay in the room to complete a critical software upload, what does he need to do to remain professional?

In a situation such as this, both the manufacturer of the equipment being installed and hospital personnel are highly invested in the behavior and demeanor of the installer. The consequences of a technology installer’s performance and its impact on the patient experience can be serious— even life-threatening.

Installing, maintaining and upgrading technological devices within critical medical settings is an art, and not every technician can provide the soft skills needed. This article offers insights and a checklist to help ensure low-impact technology deployment in medical institutions.


Workplace Violence: Policy + Plan + Practice = Prevention

Over the space of 24 hours in September 2018, the people of Maryland suffered three unrelated violent workplace events at a software company, a municipal building and a distribution center. Lives were lost, and businesses were disrupted in profound ways. It was a grim reminder of an apparent rising rate of workplace violence. Many companies, perhaps yours included, now have workplace violence plans in place – or do they really?

If you have a plan, no matter what industry you are in, chances are it’s not enough. Read on to find out what you are probably missing and learn how to confidently protect your employees and customers. Is it worth your time to analyze your plan and make adjustments? Because lives could be at stake, we suggest it is.


Top 4 Reasons Structured Cabling is Critical Infrastructure

It’s every IT director’s nightmare: phone calls come in from end users saying the system is causing problems. The CEO is depending on today’s teleconference for a large sale, but individual work stations are having trouble even loading spreadsheets. Is it a network security breach? Software and hardware was recently updated, so what could the problem be? One common answer is this: the cable plant.