Campus safety has been thrust into the spotlight in recent years. Every school from K-12 to universities has been pushed to refocus on its preventative and emergency response plans due to the frequency of deadly incidents across the United States.

The Campus Safety Conference, taking place this week in Las Colinas, Texas, is bringing educators and safety professionals together to address this critical issue.

“The theme this year is ‘Working Together’ because whether you’re a school, a college, a hospital, even a business, you can’t do emergency management planning on your own,” Gary Sigrist Jr., CEO and President, Safeguard Risk Solutions said. “you need to be working with first responders, mental health, other people that can help you with your plans, with your training, with your exercises, etc.”

Sigrist Jr. says that funding for legislation increased after the 2018 Parkland, Florida shooting, but schools are always cash strapped. Among the many difficulties schools face is how to increase efforts to protect a soft target in an emergency, while also implementing measures to mitigate the chances an event happens in the first place.

“We’re seeing way too much money spent on hardware and software,” Sigrist Jr. said. “Statistically, you look at the number students who go to school everyday in the United States and the number of targeted acts of violence, it’s like 529-millionths of a percent. You are more likely to have a child commit suicide than you are to have an active shooter event.”

Keeping students safe involves the collaboration and participation of many different organizations, not just the school administration. While these events are incredibly rare, schools do not have the luxury to learn on the fly.

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