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Jewish Community Campus installs SafeDefend to increase security efforts

11:17 AM, Nov 5, 2018

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Two organizations with the Jewish Community Campus have partnered with SafeDefend, a security system designed to use several communication methods to alert security, faculty and students in seconds when a crisis is occurring.

SafeDefend systems have been installed in schools and businesses across the country.

“We view ourselves as insurance,” SafeDefend President Jeff Green said. “That everybody needs it, but hopefully no one will ever have to use it and that’s really what we are. We hope our system is never used but just being able to go to work, send your kids to schools, feeling better, and my child is protected. That’s really what we want.”

Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy teachers and staff trained last week with equipment and items that are provided with the security system.

SafeDefend, based in Gardner, Kansas, said the security system is a way to provide staff with the tools needed to manage a crisis until help arrives.

JCC security officials said it’s been about a year-long research process to enhance security efforts even more.

“We want to be in a good position where we’re ahead of those threats and make our staff and employees and all of our students as safe as possible here on the campus, through improvements like this,” said Chuck Green, director of community wide security for the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City.

K-8 Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy principal, Jessica Kyanka-Maggart, was a part of Friday’s training. She said it adds an extra layer of safety for students, teachers and staff.

“You know every year, there are things that you don’t anticipate or things that you didn’t learn in any amount of schooling or books that you read. And you learn it and you embrace it and you move forward and you try to apply what needs to be applied,” Kyanka-Maggart said. “It’s just a part of life and it’s just like we have to adapt to new technology and incorporating technology into the classroom and staying ahead of teaching kids to be prepared for jobs that aren’t even existing yet, we also have to stay current with what’s going on in the world and keeping our kids safe.”

Green said the SafeDefend system will move JCC forward in its security efforts.

Jewish Community Campus improves security with new line of defense



Emily Welsh

KMBC 9 News Anchor

A teacher or staff member can use their fingerprint to activate the SafeDefend system.

Former school principal’s SafeDefend active shooter system installed at Jewish Community Center, target of 2014 Overland Park shootings

Every student, teacher and staff member deserves the greatest opportunity to get home from school safely, said Jeff Green, founder of SafeDefend.

Jeff Green, SafeDefend

Jeff Green, SafeDefend

Green’s security solution — an active shooter response system that sends alerts throughout a school community, as well as detailed information to law enforcement, within seconds of an incident — recently was installed at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy and Jewish Community Center’s Child Development Center.

“Our system is designed to basically reduce law enforcement’s response time, to get in there much more quickly, and give the students and staff the ability to survive those critical three to five minutes until law enforcement arrives,” said Green, who founded the Gardner security firm after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, in which 20 children and six adults were killed.

“[SafeDefend] also addresses the fact that no matter how good the outside building security is, the most likely threat is going to be somebody who’s already inside,” added Green, a former elementary school principal with stints in Ottawa and DeSoto.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and Village Shalom independent senior living center in Overland Park were the targets of an April 13, 2014, shooting that took the lives of three people. More recently, an unrelated incident in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, saw a gunman kill at least 11 worshippers during a prayer service at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue, according to still-developing media reports.

“The more information and the more quickly we get it, the safer we can keep our community,” said Chuck Green, community-wide security director for Kansas City’s Jewish community, a former Secret Service agent with more than 30 years of experience. “The SafeDefend system allows us to improve our response time and security awareness. My job is to make this community a safer, more secure place for everyone to enjoy, and this system is a critical tool in helping us achieve this goal.”

Security enhancements like the SafeDefend installation were made possible by a grant from the Morgan Family Foundation. The response system is one of a number of proactive security steps taken after the 2014 shootings, according to a press release.

About SafeDefend: The SafeDefend system uses multiple communication methods to communicate specific details of a crisis situation to local police and onsite staff. Police and staff are immediately notified of the specific location of the crisis in a detailed text and/or email, a 911 call is placed, and audible sirens and warning lights notify onsite staff and visitors. Staff is provided with training and tools to survive the crisis until help arrives.

Workplace Violence Active Shooter – Alerting Employees & OSHA Compliance

The news of an active shooter at the YouTube headquarters is saddening. As the nation focuses on the conversation of school security in the wake of the shooting at Parkland, FL the discussion of threats in the workplace became sidelined.  We know from the FBI Active Shooter reports from 2000-2015 that 95% of active shooters in the workplace to businesses closed to the public are current or former employees. The other 5% have a relationship with a worker at the business.  We have seen time and again how disgruntled employees, domestic discord or disputes among workers has resulted in violence and death.  It is all too common in the American workplace.

Businesses often prepare for many emergencies. Human resource professionals will tell you there are protocols in place for fire, climactic events and chemical spills.  Warning systems will sound, emergency responders will be notified, and staff understand the protocols and responsibilities for their positions in the event of a crisis.  When it comes to a hostile intruder in the workplace, however, the workplace violence protection process is unknown and the need for alarms is almost ignored by businesses.  We know from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that in 2016 the category with the highest increase from the previous year was homicide (525 up from 416 in 2015) compared to the number of fire deaths that was the only category to decrease.  The worst statistic is that 40% of woman killed in the workplace are the result of homicide from a domestic partner.  The likelihood of an armed intruder is 30 time more likely than a fire, 60 times more likely that a climactic event and 125 time more likely than a chemical spill and yet it is the one we are least prepared to handle.

Most business owners and managers assume that Worker’s Compensation will cover these hostile events. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always apply depending on the circumstances.  The OSHA General Duty Clause 5(a)(1) requires employers to provide a workplace ‘free from recognized hazards’.  In the years since the clause was implemented several OSHA director interpretation letters have indicated that ‘courts have interpreted this clause as a legal obligation for employers’.  A January 2017 directive titled Enforcement Procedures and Scheduling for Occupational Exposure to Workplace Violence to OSHA investigators (CPL 02-01-058) recommended for all industries and administrative workplaces to ‘install and regularly maintain alarm systems and to arrange for reliable response systems when triggered’.  Without creating specific standards OSHA has started to implement guidelines that direct employers to take steps to protect employees in the event of workplace violence.

The notion of calling 911 in a crisis is antiquated and when it comes to fire we rely on alarms to alert building occupants so they can seek safety. We have seen that waiting for law enforcement results in higher casualty counts.  In February of 2016 in Hesston, KS an employee shot a worker in the parking lot at the Excel Industries.  Staff called 911 and the police chief heroically responded in less than 3 minutes.  In that same time the shooter entered the plant and shot 14 coworkers, killing 3 of them.  There was no way to alert the employees of the threat on the plant floor from the front office.  This is just one example of incidents across the country where a threat is known by someone in the bulding but there exists no warning or workplace violence protection system in place to sound the alarm.  A security company responsible for a Kraft foods plant was found liable and had to pay out 8 million dollars to families of three employees who were killed after a disgruntled employee returned and stole a security guards access card.  The guard could only call 911 and wait for police.  The ability to sound alarms and alert employees in the event of a hostile intruder is essential to providing a safe workplace.

SafeDefend has worked with companies across the country to install and maintain an alert system with tools for protection and trauma response when a hostile event occurs. Most companies assume fences and access control are sufficient.  This doesn’t address the fact that the most likely threat to the business will come from within.

#youtubeshooter #workplacesafety #activeshooter