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Lessons from an Active Shooter Expert – Prepare Our Schools Now

On February 26, SST hosted Chief Ian Moffett, President-elect at National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officials (NASSLEO) on a one hour webinar. Fortunately for us, Ian also happens to be Chief of Police for Miami-Dade K-12 schools, so he knows first-hand what it takes to keep school districts safe.  Our webinar attendees found him incredibly informative. SST was equally impressed by the audience’s great interest in this topic – job titles ranged from Chief of Police to VP of Human Resources, Security Officer to K12 security manager and even school board member, indicating a variety of community members felt this topic was of great importance.

In a powerful and quick-moving 45 minute visual presentation, Chief Moffett led us through a webinar that included real-time active shooter scenarios, tactics, technology solutions and real-time command center plans that he actively uses to prepare for the possibility of an unfortunate incident in the Miami-Dade school district (he even showed us the actual plans he uses). As he confidently presented his content, it was clear: Chief Moffett was an active shooter expert. He talked frankly about several examples of living through active shooter scenarios and lessons learned.

The most surprising fact he presented was that 85% of the work you need to do to prepare for an Active Shooter incident happens before the incident actually occurs.  That means to get ready for a potential incident, schools need to actively prepare now! 10% of the preparation is during the incident, and 5% after the incident has happened.  Chief Moffett also added that to successfully prepare for an active shooter threat, both human capital and technology resources must be integrated into your plans before the threat occurs, during the incident and after the incident.

Here are the three phases that Chief Moffett described during an incident:

  1. Before Phase – 85%: This is the prevention, mitigation, preparedness and protection phase. Examples in this phase include preparing your school with a notification system for parents, law enforcement and school personnel, emergency operations plans and awareness campaigns for students.

  2. During Phase – 10%: This phase is when the actual incident is happening in real-time and to prepare, you should have a solid command system in place, and technology tools already deployed such as video cameras and gun detection software.

  3. After – 5%: This is the recovery phase and in this phase the school and community are grieving.  To prepare for this phase includes engaging with the community with frequent in-person meetings, increasing mental health programs and adding additional school security.

To start preparing for an untimely active shooter threat, our school districts need to get to work now. If you want to make your school safer, start by listening to Chief Moffett’s webinar and reading his tips:

Download the archived webinar here.
Download Tips to Prepare for an Active Shooter Incident on Your Campus

Let’s make our schools safer and do the “before” work today.


March 16, 2015
By: Sherry Prescott - Willis , Director of Marketing