Building Owners and Managers Are Ill-prepared for Active Shooters

A seminar, “Anatomy of an Active Shooting: Survival as a Planned Outcome,” was recently presented by Lawrence Dietz, general counsel for TAL Global, an international corporate security and risk assessment firm, and Michael Julian of National Business Investigations, at the just completed 2021 BOMA International Conference and Expo.

The session, hailed by attendees as “riveting,” set into historical context the active shooting threat from its genesis, believed to be April 1891, when a shooter targeted students in a parochial school playground, to the sporadic but ongoing epidemic we are witnessing today.

While the motives behind active shooting incidents can vary, BOMA attendees soon realized that in most cases, building owners and managers are ill-prepared for such incidents, according to Dietz.

“Complicating matters, very often building owners and managers find they are named as co-defendants if litigation follows the assault.”

Dietz told his audience that based on his experience, multimillion-dollar financial settlements are not uncommon after active shooter incidents.

However, the panelists also discussed ways to minimize the possibility of such a horrific event. Among those cited at the presentation were the following:

  • Enhancements to building architecture that can improve security. This includes the addition of barriers; interior access control systems; and architectural “inhibitors,” such as turnstiles, elevator management systems, and ballistic-rated glass or coatings.
  • Conducting a vulnerability (risk) assessment. While there are different types of vulnerability assessments, the goal with each is to identify, classify, and prioritize security weaknesses, including active shooter incidents.
  • Becoming familiar with a program known as Assess, Leave, Impede, Violence, Expose (A.L.I.V.E.), created by panelist Julian. This program provides steps building owners/managers can take to respond to an active shooter situation swiftly and effectively.

During the past 20 years, TAL Global has worked with organizations worldwide, helping them prevent workplace violence and protect people and places, as well as traveling C-suite executives. Today, due to the rash of active shooting incidents, the firm is also working with organizations all over the world, helping them prevent active shooting events.

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