Schools, courtrooms, hospitals, and other public facilities receive a steady amount of footwork on a daily basis. A serious situation could occur anytime which would require immediate action. To be able to address this critical need, a system should be integrated that would bridge communications between on-site security personnel and community first responders.
Safety Incidents, A Cause for Concern
The United States has seen an overall increase in violent crimes among its different jurisdictions. A recent statistics report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation supported this disturbing trend. For two consecutive years, the FBI had noted an increase in the number of violent crimes all over the country.
Around 1.2 million violent crimes occurred in the U.S. in 2016, which increased by 4.1 percent from 2015 figures. More than 60 percent of the crimes that occurred in the reporting period falls under aggravated assault. Meanwhile, murder and related incidents had increased by 8.6 from the prior reporting cycle, as the FBI study showed.
Security in Public Spaces
The country is also facing a serious problem with the rising number of active shooter incidents. Another report from the Department of Justice-Office for Victims of Crime revealed this disturbing trend. The OVC noted that around 20 active shooter cases were reported in 2015 in comparison to 2000, which only had one incident.
These shooting incidents also happened in places with a lot of foot traffic. In 2015, more than 40 percent of these cases occurred in a commercial or public space. More than 20 percent or half of those incidents took place in a school or university setting. With the community at its most vulnerable in a place where they work, learn, or transact their daily business, a security mechanism should be integrated at these locations.
Time is Critical
The national crime trends provide justification for integrating measures to ensure community safety in these public places. It is important for security personnel and agency management to acknowledge the time-sensitivity of these types of emergency and crisis situations. Averting a situation before it becomes a full-blown crisis should be the goal of all persons concerned.
There are incident reporting management solutions in the market that can connect agency personnel with first responders during a crisis. These safety programs can also be activated to set off a system-wide panic alarm system to safely notify those who work in the public facility. These are done through an SMS or email messaging function. Quick engagement ensures all parties involved can analyze the immediate or ongoing threat. It could also help first responders map out a crisis-averting plan or an evacuation plan for those who are currently in the building.
Ensuring the community’s safety in public facilities is important. Each minute counts during an emergency situation, be it a disaster or an active shooter incident. During these situations, the security and safe evacuation of the community should be of paramount concern. Incident reporting and management systems ensure quick action from first responders at all times.