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Security Cares Focuses on School Safety

​Held annually as a community give back to the GSX host community, Security Cares provides free security education to small and medium size businesses, as well as community and cultural institutions.

While this program has traditionally focused on broad security topics, this year's education takes a decidedly focused and fresh approach, with the ASIS School Safety and Security Council taking a lead role in all aspects of the program.

"Recent tragedies have brought the issue of school security to the forefront," says Jason Destein, vice chair of the ASIS School Safety and Security Council. "Communities across the United States are struggling with this issue and want to see action. The industry, law enforcement, school administrators, and community-at-large all have a role to play in creating safe learning environments."

A multi-day program, Security Cares kicked off this past Friday at the Miley Achievement Center where council member Rick Shaw addressed faculty, administrators, and invited guests at the ASIS International School Grant Award Ceremony.

Shaw discussed the importance of See Something, Say Something and how security is everyone's responsibility.

The program continues on Tuesday with the panel session "School Security: Beyond the Headlines," which will be livestreamed from the show floor.

"In the rush to find solutions, schools are faced with a dizzying array of products and services," Destein says. "However, there is no magical solution. We need to have informed discussions about best practices and community engagement in order to get this right. Getting involved in Security Cares and developing a program that helps foster these important conversations and dissemination of much-needed information was a natural fit for our council."

Council members Destein; Chuck McCormick, PSP; Jenni Hesterman, Ph.D.; and Shaw will address active shooter and the conditions that can lead to these acts of violence.

The panelists will also cover soft target hardening, technology and procurement assessments, and data and analytics as prevention tools.

Panelists will look to answer the tough questions and provide clear and concise recommendations for school security stakeholders to take back and discuss within their districts to implement positive changes.

 This panel discussion will further the conversation that started over the summer with the "Back to School, Back to Safety" webinar series presented by the council. Wednesday's onsite program, "School Violence-Prevention and Preparedness," produced in partnership with the School Safety and Security Council, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Infrastructure Protection, will kick off with a panel conversation featuring government, law enforcement, mental health, and industry stakeholders.

Topics to be discussed include pre-violence indicators, implementing See Something, Say Something policies, issues surrounding how at-risk individuals or reported behaviors are escalated, identifying best practices, and emphasizing the need for schools to have a collaborative approach to assess threats.

In addition, attendees will be provided with a list of resources to connect with at-risk individuals and tools to engage the entire community in school security.

Following the panel, attendees can participate in a tabletop exercise that will walk participants through an after-hours school violence incident. In this small group, train-the-trainer scenario, participants will be assigned specific roles (e.g. spokesperson, scribe, stakeholder) and teams.

Once the rules are explained and the emergency scenario is introduced, there will be facilitated and timed discussions with Q&A time among teams. Each team will then share specific responses as the scenario unfolds. Lessons learned from school incidents and other resources will be shared.

Through Security Cares, ASIS provides easily implementable prevention and preparedness strategies and best practices, as well as access to a global pool of the top leaders in the security management profession.

Launched in 2016, this initiative ensures that the host community receives a lasting benefit from the collective wisdom and product knowledge of the more than 20,000 practitioners gathered for GSX.