If that title offends you, it should. It is a horror that a campus shooting rampage killed 10+ students and injured 10+ at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon today. Sadly, in America, it is just another Thursday.

Mass shootings are becoming commonplace. So are campus shootings. People shrug saying that there was nothing that could be done, but in this case, there was a way to prevent it.

This time there were warning signs. The alleged 26-year old shooter was evidently talking about his plan over social media the night before he did it.

“Students can be an early warning system to prevent violence,” says Richard H. Price Principal, Senior Analyst, CPTED CPD with Soteria Group, Safety by Design, who served 21 years as an FBI Special Agent. “According to a recent FBI study, many active shooter incidents were prevented entirely by other students (frequently girls) who alerted school authorities early that there was a problem brewing or that someone was planning to bring a gun on campus. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case here.”

“Unlike the Sacramento City College shooting that took place a couple of weeks ago, the people at Umpqua Community College did have warning via social media,” says Paul Feist, Principal, Senior Analyst and CPTED CPD, with the Soteria Group, who has 25 years’ experience in law enforcement. “Had someone reported the threats that were posted to social media the day before the shooting lives could have been saved.”

“We design systems and strategies for campus security that can get students and staff the information they need in minutes. Campuses throughout the country can rely on Soteria Group to help keep their students safe with these systems,” says Feist. “Part of the solution is technology,is not useful if people are not using it as a prevention tool.”

“We need to train the staff, students and local law enforcement at every college for active shooters,” says Price. “Active Shooter drills are just as relevant, if not more so in this day and age, as other drills such as those done to prepare for a fire, tornado or other disaster.”

Situational Awareness is one of the primary means of protection.  Knowing your options for survival is key, such as the ability to evacuate or create a barrier between yourself and the shooter. If evacuation and barricading are not viable options, people have to make a decision as to whether they are going to confront the shooter as a last resort.

There are 135,000 school and college campuses in the United States. Most are not prepared for this type of massacre. The need for Soteria Group’s services has never been greater.

We at the Soteria Group don’t just upgrade the security of your physical environment (whether it is a school or a workplace), but through training we also upgrade the safety of your culture so everyone can live and learn safely.

 

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