January 7, 2020 Don Martin

Shooter Detection Systems K-12 Resources for Educational and School Security Professionals:

Finding funding for school security projects is never easy. This document contains the most up-to-date listing of funding programs for school-specific security improvement grants and assistance programs. Also included are links to grant writing support programs and a special “how to” guide from the Security Industry Association (SIA).

The decision to introduce a gunshot detection system into your school needs be based on a foundation of clear objectives and linked to some form of return on investment. This document was developed based on our experience working with school boards and administrators. Its purpose is to provide you with information and statistics to make the case for integrating a new security technology proven to help first responders react more quickly to a gun violence event.

Developed by the US Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC), this report has analyzed plots against 67 schools from 2016 to 2018. Averting Targeted School Violence: A US Secret Service Analysis of Plots Against Schools provides valuable, research based insights into the characteristics, methodologies and behaviors of school attackers.

The National Fire Prevention Association develops codes and standards for electrical and fire related hazards. The NFPA 3000 Standard has been specifically developed to create and manage an Active Shooter/Hostile Event Response (ASHER) Program. While not just for schools, may K-12 administrators are familiar with the importance of NFPA standards and how they fit with local regulations. The thumbnail to the left links to a “fact sheet” for easy reference and the full standard can be found here.

CISA describes the 2022 technical appendix as an “action-oriented guidance to school staff by assisting them in identifying the physical security assets they already have in place and the gaps they have in their physical security system.” Description of gunshot detection in buildings begins on page 14.

Now in its 3rd edition, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency‘s K-12 School Security Guide is an excellent reference for schools who plan to conduct vulnerability assessments and want to improve their layered physical security components. This guide is designed to work with CISA’s online K-12 School Security Assessment Tool (SSAT).

Siemens, an SDS authorized dealer, has produced this helpful white paper which presents five keys to helping create safer, more secure schools, and exploring how the right partner in education and building technologies can bring a dedicated focus to developing and deploying strategies and technologies. Siemens partners with Sourcewell to deliver Cooperative Purchasing Contracts. This agreement allows schools and districts to purchase solutions, equipment and services through a pre-negotiated contract vehicle, saving time and eliminating the RFP process. Even with allocated federal funding now available for education, this vehicle can accelerate this process.

In August of 2020 the CISA performed an exercise designed to explore casualty mitigation during an active assailant event in a suburban high school in the United States through virtual reality experimentation. This after-action report details responses that teachers, SROs and students gave during the exercise. Section 5 Recommendations (Page 34): suggests that “… To address this challenge, schools should investigate potential strategies or technologies that improve the timeliness and accuracy of an SRO’s (or external law enforcement’s) situational awareness to support the observing, processing, and decision-making process.”

This August 2022 fact sheet details the findings from the National Institute of Justice-sponsored research about preventing mass shootings in K-12 schools. The five “facts” detailed in this report make it easier for school administrators, teachers and parents to understand some of the foundational elements that comprise most K-12 school shootings.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Institute of Education Sciences have jointly produced a report detailing official estimates of school crime and safety from a variety of data sources, including national surveys of students, teachers, principals, and post-secondary institutions.