While he doesn't expect to see a run on security technology attributed to the aforementioned school shooting in Ohio akin to the aftermath of Columbine, Timm believes there will be some reactionary equipment purchases made followed by an increase in security personnel. While he says there's not a problem with having both of these things, he said that they need to be part of that holistic approach, which includes also focusing on access control and communications.
"What they should be doing is focusing on access control, which takes into account everything from student monitoring to visitor management and the kinds of locks they have on doors," he said. "Access control is one of the primary areas and the other primary area is communications. The bottom line is you can get cameras and metal detectors, but if your P.E. people are not carrying two-way radios with them when they are taking students outside the building for physical education, the barn door is still wide open. We have to have functioning PA systems, intercom call buttons that work, telephones that are labels with emergency dialing instructions, and two-way radios that are carried around for real by administrators and people that monitor student movement."
In addition to this, Timm said that schools need to create a collaborative effort with a broad base of internal and external stakeholders (teachers, parents, custodial workers, administrators, law enforcement, etc.) to make the school a safe environment for students.
"The first law of loss prevention states that effective loss prevention is always preceded by extensive losses. That's why your neighbor doesn't get a burglar alarm system until after their house has been burglarized or why we don't get a Department of Homeland Security until after 9/11," Timm said. "I would just say this for schools. We need to break that first law of loss prevention. We need to sit down collaboratively and we need to look at our entire security program holistically and move forward without events and incidents dictating what we do."