“Mass casualty events” and “active shooters” are both recent terms that have become a part of our lives. They’re almost a regular, predictable occurrence. These tragedies do not discriminate or play favorites with the venue. They happen in schools, factories, office buildings, concert halls and outdoor music festivals, hospitals, governmental facilities, anywhere and everywhere.

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Active Shooter Suppression: A Growing Challenge

They occur at a greater rate each year and with what always seems like a greater loss of life. These events are happening with such frequency that the news cycle has gone from weeks of coverage down to a few days. We have grown collectively immune to the shock and horror.

Crotega’s Dan Murphy was recently reflecting on his career, in the NYPD and in private security, where he has been tasked with protecting people across the globe against acts of violence. He’s watched and studied numerous cases where shooters have entered buildings and wounded and killed innocent persons before either committing suicide, being captured or being killed by the responding police.

Traditional Security Measures

Murphy and other Crotega team members have been involved in designing, purchasing, and installing countless security technology systems for hundreds of buildings worldwide. The traditional security package consists of CCTV, access control/badging, unarmed security officers and door/window alarms for non-business hours. These measures generally do what they are intended to do: allow normal day-to-day activities and provide a generic layer of protection. These precautions don’t stand up to an armed intruder, and this mistaken belief causes loss of life.

The Reality of the Situation

Armed, determined killers brush through most traditional security measures like a knife through warm butter. “If there is one thing that I have learned for certain,” Murphy says, ”if an individual decides to bring a weapon into a facility to kill, they will inevitably find a way.”

What’s needed most is a focus on mitigating the risk to all once an armed intruder gains entry with an intent to harm others.

Security Innovations for Active Shooter Suppression

Traditional security measures listed above do one of three basic things: alert, detect or record. They all require a human response to remedy the situation. None of them do what is truly needed to equip a facility against a killer: confront and suppress the shooter using non-lethal technology.

The concept of Active Shooter Suppression was founded on the same life-saving principles as fire suppression. Fire and shooters spread quickly, are highly lethal, and waiting for police or fire response means a greater likelihood of casualties. Assailant Suppression involves using several security technologies working in unison to accomplish Priority #1: stop the shooting ASAP.

More Firepower Can Equal More Casualties

And that means shooting by anyone, including the police. More rounds fired means more risk and generally more casualties. Many law enforcement and security officers are focused on ensuring that they respond quickly and work in a coordinated fashion. There is also a focus on providing all employees and students with training to survive an active shooter situation. Yes, those are important, but they don’t address Priority #1.

A New Method

The development of comprehensive, integrated assailant suppression systems is needed to address Priority #1. These active shooter suppression systems join with traditional measures to make swift notifications, confront and suppress the shooter’s actions, and provide real-time, accurate images to ensure a safer, more focused response.

Once Priority #1 becomes a greater focus, we will see active shooter incidents that are over before or immediately after they begin, fewer lives lost, and a greater sense of societal relief from these terrible tragedies.

A New Era for Active Shooter Suppression

History has shown us that current methods are failing. We rely on equipment not intended to stop shooters and on the actions of people during an active shooter scenario. It’s time to prioritize technologies that can be built into facilities to ensure that a safer response is where you want it when you need it.