Equities: Mace Security & SafeDefend to Offer Crisis Protection System to All

Equities’ Destiny Lopez reports on SafeDefend and Mace Security International’s new partnership aimed at creating the premier protection approach for employees, teachers, and students from incidents including active shooters and other emergencies. “We are extremely pleased to partner with SafeDefend and look forward to enhancing the safety of civilians all over the country,” says John McCann, CEO and President of Mace® Security.

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FMLink: SafeDefend, Mace Security provide protection tools to schools, workplaces

FMLink reports on SafeDefend’s new partnership with Mace Security International. SafeDefend’s proprietary active shooter and incident preparations program will combine with Mace Brand personal protection products to create a premier protection approach for workplaces and schools.

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KSHB 41: Kansas city school uses unique safety system

KSHB 41’s Ariel Rothfield reports on Blue Ridge Christian’s security system and active shooter response training through SafeDefend. “It (SafeDefend) gives us something we can do. Instead of just sitting and waiting for something bad to happen, we can be proactive instead of reactive,” says high school Bible teacher Matt Rogers. In total, the school has 28 SafeDefend boxes.

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The Fallacy of Wasp Spray for School Safety

The genesis of the notion of ‘bug spray’ as a tool against an active shooter in a school safety plan sprung up in the late 90s after a series of high profile school shootings. As police departments across the country scrambled to adjust procedures and train officers on dynamic entry post Columbine the teachers and staff in our schools were clamoring for assistance. The school administrators were being reassured that the police would respond differently and thus no need to change anything at the schools was required. To some this was a comfort but other school personnel weren’t appeased. In this vacuum of options several programs arose and ideas for countering an intruder gained popularity. No one will argue with the notion that doing something for school safety is better than nothing when countering an armed intruder. The idea of throwing things, barricading doors and fighting at all costs as a last resort are still sound options. The missing element was how a teacher in a classroom with young students could accomplish this alone.

Due to school policies that prohibit weapons in schools there were limited options for defense. Ever so quietly the idea was passed from law enforcement to the teachers to put a can of wasp spray in the drawer. It isn’t technically a weapon. It doesn’t violate policy. If questioned by administration it can be explained away as necessary on the playground or something. However, In a crisis it can be used directly at an intruder from a considerable distance to distract or detour them from continuing to enter the room. So in an effort to protect the classroom the sprays were encouraged as a means to circumvent the prohibition on weapons in the classroom. At the time it was a reasonable option. Over the years the concept spread and became a dominant theme in school safety. Teachers feel comforted with having a can of bug spray in the classrooms. Police officers heard the option and figured that someone must know what they are talking about and done the necessary research. Thus the idea spread to use bug spray. Some schools started providing teachers with response kits in case of a violent intruder and cans of bug spray were included based on the false notion that this was an effective counter to an armed intruder. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. Most bug sprays are only a minor irritant to humans.

Bug spray has never actually been tested on humans for this purpose and isn’t sold for that purpose. The internet is rife with videos of people demonstrating how ineffective bug sprays are at stopping an aggressive attacker. Not to mention that one of the side effects from exposure to humans lists it can be lethal. People often scoff at this claim as we don’t care about the perpetrator, but the reality is that cross exposure will likely occur to all the students in the classroom or hallway. When it comes to the liability of this how are you going to defend the clear disclaimer ‘misuse of this product is a violation of federal law.’ To reiterate the point, anything in a crisis should be used to thwart the attack. The fallacy arises when schools arm their teachers with a product not intended for this purpose knowing a substantially more effective option is available.

With all the discussion of what to give teachers for protection in a school safety plan,  the simple answer is Mace brand gel pepper spray. There are many benefits to the Mace brand gel pepper spray that include efficacy against humans, distance for deployment, ease of use, and temporariness of effects. The 1989 FBI study on pepper spray prompted the vast majority of police agencies in the country to adopt it as an option. The use of the weapon in response to hostile action (not crowd control) has been thoroughly vetted in the courts and proven time and again to be reasonable. Naysayers always point to the notion of taking down an armed shooter with a gun. First off, Mace brand pepper spray in this situation should be used as a defensive weapon. The purpose of having it is to secure the door and barricade it with furniture. If the perpetrator is able to get past the door the 24-foot stream sprayed in the general direction of the door will find it’s target and the side effects of involuntary eye closure, burning skin, labored breathing and mucous production are debilitating to the attacker. The idea is to keep the intruder out of the classroom where the vast majority of casualties occur in our schools.

No better example of a this defensive use exists than the Seattle Pacific University shooting when a student building monitor pepper sprayed an armed shooter and subdued him until police arrived. Other than the vastly superior efficacy the most important aspect for use of Mace brand pepper spray in schools are the temporary effects. Students inadvertently sprayed or contaminated would suffer no permanent effects. When there is a specific product available for an intended purpose the decision of substituting a less effective option is absurd.

There is a broad misunderstanding of school shooters in our schools. Sandy Hook shone the spotlight on those living with mental illness in our communities. This focus distracts from the stark reality that since 1995 to the present over 80% of shooters in our schools are students. The other segment is usually a disgruntled employee or the result of a domestic relationship. These perpetrators all know how to bypass the external security. These facts lead to the support of classroom security and protection options for our teachers. The solution for administrators is to utilize tools that have proven to be effective but will minimize collateral damage.

SafeDefend and Mace Security International, Inc. Join Forces to Keep Schools and Workplaces Safe

New partnership will feature Mace® Brand pepper spray inside SafeDefend Personnel Protection Systems, creating the most comprehensive school and workplace protection device and program available

 Gardner, KS—May 19, 2016—SafeDefend and Mace® Security International, Inc. announced today a partnership that will combine SafeDefend’s proprietary active shooter and incident preparations program with the proven effectiveness of Mace® Brand products, including its Mace Gel Pepper spray. Together, SafeDefend and Mace® Brand will create the premier protection approach for employees, teachers, and students from incidents including active shooters and other emergencies.

“As SafeDefend continues to increase its presence in schools, government facilities, and workplaces, we needed to partner with true leaders in personnel protection to mitigate threats and injuries in the event of an incident,” said Jeff Green, CEO of SafeDefend. “SafeDefend is protecting over 12,000 students and personnel nationally, and with 87 mass shootings so far in 2016, it’s clear that workplaces are in need of a product like ours to help protect their most valuable asset: their people.”

The SafeDefend Personnel Protection System includes a fingerprint activated device which allows for controlled access and secure storage of items such as Mace® Brand gel pepper spray; a baton with a window break; trauma kit; safety vest; flex cuffs; high-intensity strobe flashlight; and a whistle. Once the system is activated, an alert is instantaneously sent to a nationwide monitoring company, along with a text alerting personnel at the school or workplace. Local law enforcement is immediately notified of the building and room number where the system was activated, identifying the location of the threat.

“We are proud to provide our nation’s law enforcement, corrections, and military with best-in-class, less lethal options,” said John McCann, CEO and President, Mace® Security International, Inc. “Now, through our partnership with SafeDefend we can enhance our efforts to protect our children and school officials, people working in medical and food industries, public employees, employees of corporations, and many more. We are extremely pleased to partner with SafeDefend and look forward to enhancing the safety of civilians all over the country.”

About SafeDefend

The SafeDefend Personnel Protection and Shelter in Place Systems program was founded in 2013 by Jeff Green, a former elementary school teacher and principal for 16 years. Following the Sandy Hook tragedy, Green realized that schools were missing critical elements in addressing a crisis.

SafeDefend was developed alongside local and national threat assessment experts, law enforcement, police chiefs, and sheriffs. SafeDefend prepares schools, hospitals, government buildings, and corporate offices what to do during the critical minutes leading up to the time first responders arrived on the scene. For more information, visit www.safedefend.com.

About Mace Security International, Inc.

Mace Security International Inc. is a globally recognized leader in personal safety and security. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the company has spent more than 40 years designing and manufacturing consumer and tactical products for personal defense, security products under its world-renowned Mace® Brand – the original trusted brand of pepper spray products. The company also offers aerosol defense sprays and tactical products for law enforcement and security professionals worldwide through its Mace® Take Down® brand.

Mace Security International distributes and supports Mace® Brand products and services through mass-market retailers, wholesale distributors, independent dealers, e-commerce marketers and installation service providers. For more information, please visit www.mace.com.

Human Resource Executive: Equipped for the unthinkable

Human Resource Executive interviews SafeDefend CEO and Founder Jeff Green in a report on the resources available for employers to prepare the workplace and defend against an active shooter. “Putting a system in place, doing the training and giving employees the ability to respond; you’ve changed things, as far as protecting your employees and protecting the company,” says Green.

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