Embracing Technology to Decrease Law Enforcement Response Time

The following contains highlights of the Active Shooter Incidents and the Challenge of Police Notification webinar hosted by Nate McViker of Hero911 Network.

Active shooter incidents have become terrifyingly too common in the US. The most alarming rise of active shooter incidents is in schools, from 1 incident in the 1960s to over 55 incidents in 2015! It is important to face reality and do our best to prepare for these unfortunate happenings. And being prepared and trained goes a long way in prevention.

While calling 911 in an emergency has been around for ages, it can take too long from the time an emergency is reported to the time officers arrive on the scene. The average school shooting lasts 12.5 minutes, while the average police response time is 18 minutes. 

The importance of short notification times in these situations cannot be overstated. Shaving even seconds off the notification and response times can result in vastly different outcomes in these situations.

That’s where Hero911 and SchoolGuard come in.

The Hero911 app (Android/Apple) is available exclusively to law enforcement officers and is the only app in the Apple App Store that is vetted and maintained by LEOs. It hit the market in November 2013, and has already been adopted by 25 Federal agencies and officers in all 50 states.

The partner app to Hero911, is SchoolGuard (Android/Apple), which is for school teachers, principals and staff.

Traditional Security Options for Schools

Before Columbine, we followed a “contain and wait” strategy, but now, we get “active shooter training”. Many schools have implemented solutions including hiring armed security officers; arming teachers and staff; providing police with digital school maps; installing panic buttons, video cameras, door locks and bulletproof windows, etc.

However, these do not necessarily decrease notification and response times, and clearly come with high costs and liability. Additionally, Sandy Hook had some of the above solutions implemented, and yet, it was the second deadliest mass murder at a US elementary school.

Time is of the Essence

The bottom line for all events is that a shorter police notification time will have a substantial impact.

Currently, officers who are near the incident may not even know it is happening, as it has not yet been called into 911, or it may still be in the steps to dispatch. SchoolGuard and Hero911 change that.

SchoolGuard puts the app with a panic button in the hands of school employees. With a tap of the alert button, 911 is reached, location data disseminated, law enforcement alerted, and all who have the Hero911 app are alerted through the app. So even if a LEO is off-duty or in a different jurisdiction, they can still be made aware of such situations that are in their immediate vicinity.

Click here to watch the full Active Shooter Incidents and the Challenge of Police Notification webinar.