Safety in the Workplace – Perpetrators of workplace shootings

Lost in the myriad of the news stories this weekend as we celebrated our independence was a spate
of unfortunate incidents of murder-suicide in the workplace. On Friday, in Belton, Missouri, a
Kansas City man shot and killed his estranged wife outside her place of employment then killed
himself a short time later. On Sunday, in Killeen, TX, a soldier killed his wife inside a Dollar
General store as customers looked on before killing himself. There were several other similar
unfortunate incidents over the weekend that occurred inside homes and apartment complexes. As
we see in the first two instances, there is little that can be done to control domestic problems from
following an employee to work. The question becomes how do we protect and notify our employees
and alert emergency services as quickly as possible? At SafeDefend Systems we think of this
everyday and have the answer.

The FBI recently released updated information (2014-2015) on active shooter incidents in the United
States. Unfortunately, instances of violence in schools and the workplace are steadily increasing.
Some of the startling information that needs to be pointed out applies specifically to the work
environment. We know from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that 86% of workplace homicides occur
in privately owned businesses. The media focuses on those stories that occur in a public entity
where a grievance against government function is expressed. The reality is that the violence starts
much closer to the people we know. From the FBI report we have learned that 95% of perpetrators
of violence in businesses closed to the public are current or former employees. The other 5% is
generally made up of those involved in a domestic relationship with an employee. These are
considered your manufacturing, technology driven, or processing businesses with no direct customer
interaction. Employees from these businesses have left behind information on a variety of reasons
for undertaking a rampage. Notions of unfair discipline, termination, ridicule from coworkers,
perceived mistreatment for promotion, failure to receive a raise, love triangles, and domestic discord
to name a few have all been cited by perpetrators. Unlike school shootings, the suspect does not
often drop clues to the plan and often act after some triggered event. There appears to be a growing
trend to resolve problems with violence that is unforeseen in our country. What steps have you
taken to thwart an intruder that knows your day to day business operations?

In response to the increase in violence, companies have undertaken steps to reinforce the workplace
against an intruder. Enhanced fencing, camera surveillance and controlled access doors are the norm
for such an approach. Most of the shootings we have seen recently already have these in place. The
Naval Shipyard shooting is a prime example of how all the money thrown toward security cannot
prevent a determined employee from committing an atrocity. What is missing in each of these
incidents is the ability to notify staff and building occupants of a threat. As we have seen in
workplace shootings such as Excel Industries or Atlantis Plastics, for example, is that the shooting
started outside and the perpetrator then entered the building to continue the rampage. Office staff
were able to start the calls to 911 but there was no ability to notify employees inside the building.
This lack of notification cost lives. We are able to go back and watch videos of employees going
about their normal routine with no idea that the threat was literally walking up behind them.
Employees deserve to feel safe and secure at work. Companies have an obligation to notify their
personnel to a threat inside the building and provide accurate information on how to seek shelter and
safety. If you don’t have a means to do this you aren’t protecting your staff.

Focus Group Study Finds Parents Want Schools To Do More To Improve Safety

A recent focus group found that parents had an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the SafeDefend concept. There was a sense that, the more schools can do to keep kids safe, the better.  In order to have a better basic understanding of school safety concerns among parents and teachers, and to gauge reactions to the SafeDefend concept, Clear Box Insights, an independent research firm, was commissioned to lead a focus group. Parents and teachers from schools in the Olathe School District and the Blue Valley School District were interviewed.

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SafeDefend’s three primary concepts, prepare, defend and notify, giving teachers the resources to defend their students. Both parents and teachers understand the need for the safety measures already in place at schools and are appreciative that their schools are being proactive; however, there is a strong sense that schools can be doing more to keep kids safe.

After hearing SafeDefend’s concept and reading a description of the “toolkit” and items inside here were some of the following responses:

“It’s a toolbox that is non-lethal, yet you could get a suspect under control, hopefully, or at least ward them off. It’s relatively safe, even if it were to fall into the wrong hands. It’s not like any of these items would bring a great deal of harm to anyone.” (Olathe Dad)

“I like the idea that there is first aid, handcuffs, pepper spray, and a whistle. It looks like it would be nice to have it all compact in one space and training can be centralized. I like the idea of one of these in every classroom and that they would have a way to get in touch with authorities. The monitoring component is an important part of this.” (Blue Valley Mom)

“The details provided are much more specific and I really like the variety of items listed. The reason I like the variety is because there are potentially a lot of different scenarios that could arise and could put our teachers and students in harm’s way. I like that this seems pretty complete based on the different scenarios.” (Blue Valley Dad)

“It would be nice to know that you had something in place that had been thought through. We do the fire and tornado drills and all that, but not for intruders. But, I’m a little weary of being about to actually fight myself. It would have to be something I felt like I could use.” (Olathe Teacher)

“I like that there would actually be something in our hands to help. I can’t tell exactly what it is going to be and how comfortable I would be using it, but it says ‘non-lethal’. Obviously, I wouldn’t be comfortable shooting someone with a gun and wouldn’t want it in my classroom.” (Olathe Teacher)

“I like that it’s not a gun or a weapon, that scares me as a teacher in the classroom, for my own capabilities as well as students getting their hands on it. I like having the trauma pack in there, it’s good to have access to that. I like the fact that it really seems to be hitting several different areas or variables that may go on.” (Blue Valley Teacher)

Louisburg Library Empowered By SafeDefend System

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The Louisburg Library is one of SafeDefend’s most recent clients. Kiersten Allen, a librarian, first heard of the security system when CEO Jeff Green presented his idea to the Rotary Club of Louisburg.

The Library chose the SafeDefend system because, “the initial finger-swipe instantly alerts law enforcement that there is danger. It is also an all-encompassing tool to help calm and empower staff in the event of a violent intruder,” said Allen.

SafeDefend’s price was within the libraries annual budget and seen as, “an excellent use of resources,” according to the librarian.

Before the implementation of the SafeDefend system, Allen shared that the person closest to a phone would need the wherewithal to do an all-page through the phone

Now with a new security plan in place Allen says, “the staff [feels] much more comfortable. The box [has become] less of an idea and more of an actual tool that they [are] confident that each of them [can] use effectively and without assistance.”

The library holds monthly Librarians in Action meetings. Jeff attended a meeting and took the entire time to allow staff to handle all of the equipment and to ask questions. The library intends to repeat a train session quarterly.

Overall Allen says that the staff feels, “much more confident and empowered,” now that the SafeDefend system is in place and running.

Two Kansas City Companies Team Up To Save Kids’ Lives

School staff, students and families are increasingly at risk to the threat of an active shooter situation, and schools are scrambling to find money to protect their students and staff in an era of extremely tight budgets. RAZ Mobile, a mobile fundraising platform used by nonprofits across the U.S., andSafeDefend, a new startup founded by a former, Kansas elementary school principal, are working together to provide schools and parents with the option for a quality safety solution. SafeDefend’s Personnel Protection System can now be completely or partially funded through RAZ Mobile’s fundraising platform. The system starts at about $15,000 annually per school per year.

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Michael Scott, a parent for children at Curé of Ars Catholic School in Leawood, Kan., said, “As a parent I want to know my children are in the safest school environment possible. Contributing to fund a system like SafeDefend makes sense to me as it substantially enhances the safety and security of my kids’ school. Curé is just one of the many schools that will be able to use the new system.”

 

Jeff Green, CEO and founder of SafeDefend, said, “Right now, the news media is reporting on school shootings and companies that hope to prevent injuries. As a former principal and a father, I understood the need for safer schools and the fact that schools need more fundraising options to implement these types of solutions. We decided to team up with RAZ Mobile because it is a reliable, cost-effective way to reach a broad audience and get the funds we need to make schools safer.”

 

Donate now! This is a demo experience that illustrates the ease of giving to support a school’s effort to buy a system.

According to Dale Knoop, founder and CEO of RAZ Mobile, “Parents have already indicated they would be interested in providing private donations for the SafeDefend system in their kids’ schools. Parents won’t have to write a check, but just give through the mobile site with credit cards, and they can share the mobile page to social media channels with friends and family. Additionally, RAZ Mobile is not a text-to-give platform, and, unlike text-to-give, RAZ Mobile puts no caps on donations and 100 percent of the donation immediately goes to the nonprofit.”

 

Local Law Enforcement & School Board Member Announce Support for SafeDefend

SafeDefend, designed by law enforcement, FBI and terrorist experts, recently announced support from Don Ash, Wyandotte County Sheriff; Jeff Richards, Franklin County Sheriff; and Mike Sipple, former Ottawa school board member.

Sipple said, “As a school board member in Ottawa, Kan. for four years the thing that mattered most was safety so that every student and staff member went home at the end of each day.  Once that was provided then we could begin to look at ways to provide effective learning processes. The SafeDefend system provides a layer of safety that can provide those extra few seconds and minutes.  Whether it be a natural disaster such as a tornado or whether it be violence perpetrated by an attacker the SafeDefend system provides tools to defend and survive as well as a monitoring system that gets help quickly to where it is needed most.”

According to Jeff Green, SafeDefend CEO and founder, “SafeDefend utilizes both a comprehensive protection system and training for teachers, students and staff.  We are thrilled to be receiving these types of endorsements from school board members and law enforcement in the community.”
Recently, the company appeared on Fox4KC about its unique approach to helping save lives and its Personnel Protection System which is now active in the Louisburg Library.  Read The Story Now http://safedefend.com/fox4-kansas-city-interviews-safedefend-ceo/

 

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Sheriff Ash explained, “SafeDefend meets two requirements missing in most school safety plans; rapid law enforcement notification and staff protection. SafeDefend puts the focus on survival until help arrives and would be a vital and effective addition to any school safet plan.”

 

 

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Sheriff Richards added, “There exists a gap in current safety plans. Plans are typically designed around hiding during an intruder or active shooter event. SafeDefend bridges the gap by combining a proactive staff response system with an effective law enforcement notification system.”

 

Fox4 Kansas City Interviews SafeDefend CEO

Thank you Fox4 Kansas City for interviewing CEO Jeff Green. Green, a former principal, shared that the Sandy Hook shootings stirred him to develop a company that’s intent is to keep schools and people safer.

Read Now: http://fox4kc.com/2014/06/30/former-school-principal-creates-fast-response-security-system/

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Louisburg Library Director Kiersten Allen spoke of an incident recently where a fugitive on the loose was found in Louisburg, which led her to invest in the SafeDefend security system.  “It changes the course of the process when you know you have a plan. And now we have a plan and we didn’t before,” Allen said.

Green spoke with with Fox4 how he wanted to address two major issues: how to get law enforcement there quickly and what staff could do before law enforcement arrived. “Safe members don’t have to worry about making that call; they know help is on the way. They can focus on their survival,” Green stated.

SafeDefend is a finger-activated box. 911 Dispatch is notified of an active shooter and the classroom(s) involved, with the swipe of a finger. Inside the box are various items ranging from pepper spray to a baton to help fend off the shooter. Each SafeDefend costs $500.

Jeff Green, CEO of SafeDefend, Responds To Arming Teachers With Guns

 

Earlier this week, a Kansas City Star article was published by Donald Bradley about teachers in the West Plains, Mo. area training to shoot back at active school shooters.  Jeff Green, CEO of SafeDefend, responded to the story.

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Photo: PANPOTE / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Green said, “My stance is the decision to arm teachers has to be determined by the district and their community. We provide a system of training, tools and notification to provide protection much like fire alarms and AEDs. It’s a passionate political debate that divides people. That decision clearly needs to come from a superintendent and his board. My system works really well with schools who choose not to allow concealed carry and for those who choose to allow.  My stance is the district makes the political decision, and we have the system that increases the effectiveness of which ever direction they choose.”
Green also stated that the training that is being used for SafeDefend is being taught by active duty police officers to ensure that everyone is provided the highest level of effective response with the system.