Specialized Risk® Newsletter-February 2012-CPTED

This reprint of our company newsletter complements the articles on terrorism response by explaining the concept of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) which is a concept for providing defense (or protection) in depth by using varying layers of security utilizing physical security features of a building. This concept is especially useful in the preliminary design stages of a new building, facility or school structure since it costs much less to build security features into a new construction project rather than trying to modify or reconstruct a location.

On December 15, 2010, Clay Duke stepped up to the podium of a Florida School Board meeting, with one thing on his mind. Duke proceeded to spray a red “V” on a nearby wall, meaning Ven- detta. Duke was on a vendetta against the recent firing of his wife and the increase in sales tax to subsidize the cost of education. He was not interested in discussing policy, he intended to send a message. Duke drew and began discharging his 9mm semi-automatic handgun at the presiding school board members……. This type of random act of violence has, unfortunately, become too commonplace in our society. We try to draw a difficult balance between the need for security and the need for free access and a friendly atmosphere in our school board meetings. The following tips are offered for your consideration when the need for increased security exists.

The Outside Circle

The outside circle is the first layer of defense. In this circle consider reducing risk by “Crime Prevention through Environmental Design” (CPTED). These mitigation techniques include properly trimmed landscaping, correct window placement, adequate and appropriate lightning throughout the building and parking lots, and limiting access into the building. A sign notifying the public that the meeting will be videotaped should be placed near the entrance of the meeting room.

The Middle Circle

The middle circle is used to maximize personal contact with citizens. When a citizen walks through the doors that citizen should be greeted by volunteers or staff members. Eye contact is made. This allows the greeter to observe the person and recognize any odd behaviors or red flags that can be brought to the attention of law enforcement, if necessary.

The Inner Circle

February 2012



The inner circle is the final layer of defense. This circle consists of providing both uniformed and plain clothes police officers inside the meeting room. Provide a heavy-duty, solid wood desk for school board members to seek shelter, should a situation arise where shelter is needed, and to provide a barrier between the board members and public. Provide an emergency safe room for school board members to seek shelter when necessary immediately adjacent to the meeting room. This safe room must be equipped with a secure lock and a peephole, if possible. An emergency alert switch, placed underneath the school board members desk, to alert 911 dispatch is highly recommended.

Additional information can be obtained related to this topic or any security related issue by contacting Steve Haynes with Specialized Risk. He can be reached by email to: shaynes@specializedrisk.com…office hone….214-509-9105 or cellular phone….214-673-1902.

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