Dear Mr. President: This Is How We Need to Solve, Prevent the School Shooting Crisis

A security expert explains his solution to preventing school shootings and keeping students, teachers, employees and visitors safe.

Instead of constructing buildings with no purpose except to name them after a financial benefactor, let’s create a fortified infrastructure of security that actually works and then utilize a portion of all donations received to be integrated into the respective security projects that need to be funded. Likewise, instead of making security an option or an afterthought, let’s get buy-in from schools, universities, the local and federal government and the families who entrust these entities to protect their children, loved ones and friends.

This issue is not something that is going to go away. To the contrary, it is going to continue to happen and get much worse as the perpetrators create new ways to act out their nefarious deeds.

We need to make security at schools and universities as secure as our airports, governmental buildings and military facilities. Schools and universities should all be required to have the proper level of security in place or immediately risk losing all governmental funding and credentialing authority to operate.

Quite frankly, I would rather tell parents why they have to contribute to the security fund at their children’s school or university than have to tell them that their child was seriously injured or killed as a result of a violent act.

A security tax or fee should also be instituted so that this revenue generating tool can help bolster the financial impact the implementation of the proper security is going to cost.

Quite frankly, I would rather tell parents why they have to contribute to the security fund at their children’s school or university than have to tell them that their child was seriously injured or killed as a result of a violent act.

We are not trying to create an armed camp environment; however, we cannot expect to get different results if we do not pay attention to what each of the risks are. To that end, if we do not pay attention to these foreseeable dangers, they will pay attention to us. These violent acts are successfully being carried out time and time again by person[s] whose intent is quite simple, destroying as many people as possible, and then killing themselves in most cases.

Employing properly trained and armed officers on-site is but one of the crucial aspects of this new security paradigm. Secondly, bullet-resistant glass installed in each of the perimeter glass doors and windows of the buildings, together with entry ways that do not let persons into the protected premises if the built in Magnetometers detects a weapon, is yet another feature in creating the appropriate concentric layers of protection.

On the interior side of the equation, implementing supervised wireless panic button lockdown systems to immediately notify the central station of the emergency, and at the same time robustly secure the interior doors of each class room at the press of a frequency hopping spread spectrum technology activation button, is yet another reliable methodology. 

We must also ensure that the physical security of the critical detection points [CPD] within the building is strong enough to delay successful entry by the perpetrator for a sufficient period of time so that the responding police can arrive, intercept and neutralize the threat.

This is just the tip of the iceberg for these risks. As a security professional, I am ready, willing and able to allow others to tap into my specialized education, skill, knowledge, training, experience and credentials in the security industry, and in doing so I am quite certain that we can start to proactively protect what matters most to all of us and eradicate these threats once and for all.

“If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

Bio: Jeffrey D. Zwirn, CPP, CFPS, CFE, FACFEI, CHS-IV, SET, CCI, MBAT, is president of Tenafly, N.J.-based IDS Research and Development, Inc., which provides expert forensic, consultation and training services across the country. He has over 40 years of specialized expertise in security and alarm systems, and is an active 18-year designated expert instructor to the New York City Police Department [NYPD].

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