In regard to stopping killers in these uncertain times, before society opens back up and they enter our schools, churches, and places of work, Guard911 had the honor of talking with retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Director of the Killology Research Group (www.killology.com), best-selling author, and one of the nation’s leading trainers for military, law enforcement, mental health providers, and school safety organizations.
What we learned was eye-opening and all the more reason to up our vigilance and utilize panic button technology to save lives when killers come to call.
“Are we accepting responsibility for ourselves and preparing to keep our school children, co-workers, customers, and loved ones safe from those intent on violence? Preparation and proactiveness to stop active killers now, more than ever, is essential, and we’re just not getting it.” – Lt. Col. Grossman
COVID-19 & Increased Violence
Guard911: First, let’s talk about COVID-19. There are reports that national suicide hotline calls are up well over 100% and mental health workers are inundated with calls for help. As we re-open society, will COVID-19 mental health issues contribute to more workplace and school violence, and should organizations plan proactive measures now to help safeguard their property, staff, and visitors?
Lt. Col. Grossman: Yes, to both. The fear we are living with and the emotional distancing that’s happening right now is a problem for the mental health of the most vulnerable. There is cause to believe that in the near future we may see increased domestic and foreign terrorist activities, from individuals and groups, which include massacres and sizable acts of violence, including the potential for more attacks on school busses and daycare center massacres.
As society opens, it is not enough to be watchful – every business, nonprofit, and school should have a safety plan with panic button technology, like the Guard911® family of services, to deter and defeat killers as soon as possible and save lives.
We Need One Universal Violence Plan Like Our Fire Protocol
Guard911: What advice do you have to create a system of safety nationwide; one that can be implemented with minimal costs and effectiveness?
Lt. Col. Grossman: We can’t stop someone’s intent to harm us. However, as a nation, we can create ONE universal safety system that deters, detects, and defeats the killer and mitigates the loss of lives. Mass shootings and massacres are happening regularly, yet we still act surprised when they do and that so many lives were lost, not to mention how many were injured, mentally and physically, and forever changed by the tragedy.
However, when it comes to fire prevention and saving lives, we’ve got the fire model down to a science. There has not been a life lost in a school fire in over half a century. We have incredible systems in place and ONE RECOGNIZABLE FIRE PROTOCOL for every public place.
- Exit signs over doors are lit up red.
- Fire alarms are red levers that we pull.
- Red fire extinguishers are universal in how they work and always happen to be within easy reach.
- Businesses and schools have regular, mandated fire drills.
- Fire marshals come and inspect fire systems and safety plans to ensure they are up to code.
- Fire alarm monitors utilize the best of technology to immediately alert the fire department and have them on their way before a person can usually get to a phone and call 911.
Where is this universal system for the most prevalent threat to life in society today – active shooters and mass murderers?
Affordable panic-button technology exists, like Guard911 and Hero911, to stop violence and save lives by speeding up tactical, notification, and response times. If you own a business or run a school, downloading a panic button app for the entire organization is something that can happen fast. You don’t have to wait for the government to mandate it. There is absolutely no reason NOT to use it. And no reason we’re not making this a universal requirement.
“Half the cost of a new school goes into meeting building fire codes and fire compliance, and I suspect it is also true for many businesses. We spend all that money preparing for something that rarely happens anymore. Where is that preparation and budget for stopping the number one threat to our children and workplace peers – active killers?” – Lt. Col. Grossman
How Can a Simple Panic Button Stop a Killer?
Guard911: How can a simple mobile panic button stop a killer and what would you say to a school, church, or business if they are considering implementing one?
Lt. Col. Grossman: As you know, I am a huge advocate for Guard911 and Hero911. It is proven technology that instantly alerts law enforcement and reduces response time just by touching a cell phone screen. Calls to 911 just aren’t enough anymore. During the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting, the 911 dispatchers couldn’t hear what callers were saying due to the gunshots in the background. Trying to communicate during such a horrific situation is just not practical and slows help from arriving.
Each Guard911 app alerts law enforcement immediately and shows where the killer is on a map for situational awareness. Also, Guard911 has the unique Hero911 network of 67,000+ nationwide federal, state, county, and city on and off duty officers who are on call. Those in the vicinity of an emergency can often be there faster than on-duty 911 first responders. I am amazed by this feature. Nobody else offers this and it costs nothing for police. It’s FREE.
Don’t waste time. Get Guard911 as soon as you can. And officers, get the Hero911 app right away. The FBI recently approved the use of the Hero911 app for all federally issued phones as there is a vetting process to confirm the validity of being an officer. Officers are going to show up, regardless, in these emergencies, but often, it is too late. With this technology in place, I am confident we will save lives.
“Guard911 is the transmitter, Hero911 is the receiver. It is this technology that is stopping the loss of lives. When criminals know a business or a school is protected by a panic button system and all the security that surrounds it, it is a deterrent. They are less likely to attack that place. Deter. Detect. Defeat.” – Lt. Col. Grossman
We Must Stop Setting New Juvenile Homicide Records
Guard911: America continues to set records for juvenile homicide and mass shootings. How do we slow this upward trend?
Lt. Col. Grossman: I have spent my life studying the minds of killers and researching aggression and violence. Typically, we cannot change the minds of those intent on harm – they will find a way – but they will also attack where it’s easiest to do so. As a nation, we can implement panic button technology at every business, school, church, hospital, or gathering place, and continue to improve medical technology.
We’ve gotten really good at holding down the death rate in mass murder situations with medical technology. We’re also catching the killers if they don’t kill themselves first– but it’s too late by then. They’ve killed and injured our kids and coworkers.
What is missing is the ability to STOP them from feeling like they can go into places and massacre people. If killers know they will not fulfill their desire to kill as many people as possible and become famous for stunning the world, they will be deterred.
Panic button technology combined with extra safety measures like a single point of entry, safety film on glass, security guards, etc. provide this deterrent, so it doesn’t happen in the first place.
“If you have armed security on-site, how are you going to let them know you need help? How do you know they’ll be in the right place at the right time? If you don’t have armed security on-site, how will you alert 911 if you’re fumbling to call, and how do you know how fast they’ll be there? The Guard911 and Hero911 programs are the best and easiest tools we have to solve these issues.” – Lt. Col. Grossman
A Little History About Lt. Col. Grossman
Lt. Col. Grossman has an incredible history as a hero and scholar. He holds five patents and has published eight non-fiction books, including his perennial bestseller – On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. He has also studied the motivations behind teen killings and published Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill, Revised and Updated Edition: A Call to Action Against TV, Movie & Video Game Violence.
Additionally, Lt. Col. Grossman was cited by the President of the United States in a national address, testified before the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Congress, and numerous state legislatures, and has served as an expert witness and consultant in state and federal courts.
He also helped train mental health professionals after the Jonesboro school massacre and was involved in counseling and court cases in the aftermath of the Paducah, Springfield, Littleton, and Nickel Mines Amish school massacres.
To read more about Lt. Col. Grossman’s in-depth professional and personal history, including his world-renowned academic, legal, and government publications and his selection of books, please go to his website: www.killology.com.
Thank You, Lt. Col. Grossman
The Guard911 team is grateful to Lt. Col. Grossman for his life’s work to keep our nation safe and for taking time to speak with us. We are honored that he feels so strongly that Guard911®, SchoolGuard®, and CampusGuard911™, combined with the Hero911 network of police, are essential to prepare for and prevent school, workplace, and other massacres. Thank you, Lt. Col. Grossman!
If you have questions about this article or would like to learn how Guard911 panic button technology can help your organization stay safe, contact us today. If you are an active or retired law enforcement officer, download the one-of-a-kind, free Hero911 app today and help save lives. 618-973-9174; [email protected].