SafeDefend™ Spotlight

SafeDefend Gives Schools a Way to Manage Those Critical Moments Before Help Arrives During an Active Shooter Event.

One of the great tragedies of American society today is mass shootings—and they seem to be happening with greater frequency at retailers, places of worship, and even celebrations. If you ask the average citizen how they feel about these events, most people are heartbroken, particularly when mass shootings take place at schools. 

Parents with school-aged children have to live with this reality, knowing their children may not be safe. In the absence of meaningful societal solutions, dealing with these crises is left to administrators, teachers, students, parents, and law enforcement. That’s why people like Jeff Green are developing tools to help people in the vital moments between gunshots and the arrival of law enforcement.

Jeff Green is a former elementary school principal and founder of SafeDefend™. We had a chance to talk with him recently to learn more about the solutions his company brings to educators. 

What should we know about SafeDefend?

I started SafeDefend™ about 10 years ago. I was an elementary principal at the time, and the intent of SafeDefend was to find a way for teachers to manage the crisis time from when something happens until law enforcement arrives. 

I was looking at a variety of options for teachers to help either protect themselves, escape and evade, or respond to trauma—a crisis management kit basically. From that initial concept, we've developed into a mass notification system and crisis kit. Our system gives teachers the ability to lock down a building and notify law enforcement within seconds.

Why focus on the time period before law enforcement arrives?

We realized that teachers are really unprotected in those moments. There is an absolute time gap when you’re on your own. If you look at the Covenant Elementary shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, it took 11 minutes for law enforcement to arrive. The shooter was in that building with the staff and students for 11 minutes and fired 152 rounds.

Now, once law enforcement showed up, they did a fantastic job. But, there's 11 minutes—and that's where all the tragedy happens. That was really the catalyst for SafeDefend, let's give staff an easy way to notify law enforcement and some ability to manage that crisis until law enforcement gets there.

​​There's data that shows a 911 call doesn't even get placed until about two minutes after the shooting starts. So now, you're two minutes in before the 911 call even gets placed. If you have an officer that's only one mile away, they have to average 60 miles an hour through traffic to be able to get there in one minute. At best, you're probably five minutes from any significant help. More likely, you're closer to 10 minutes before you get enough resources onsite to respond. In the vast majority of cases, law enforcement is trying desperately to get there and do everything possible to take care of the situation. We often just can't get them there fast enough.

How does the SafeDefend system work?

There are two components:  A safety cabinet placed in every classroom and notification modules in the hallways which are similar to a fire pole station. It's all biometrically controlled, so only those that are authorized to set off the alarm or open the safety kit can do so. This prevents students or other people from triggering false alarms or gaining access to the safety kit.

We also provide extensive training on the systems, which is led by Dr. Gregory M. Vecchi, a retired supervisory Special Agent and Chief of the FBI Behavioral Science Unit and career crisis negotiator. 

What’s in the safety box and why?

Our safety box offers teachers and staff access to a variety of tools. Everything from escape and evade to trauma response and even threshold protection. That includes Mace® Brand pepper gel, an expandable baton, and a high-intensity strobe light, along with a trauma response kit and there’s even a high visibility vest to help law enforcement vet adults.

The safety box can help them stay alive until help arrives and gives them some protection. Including Mace® Brand was an obvious choice to give them some non-lethal protection to maintain their threshold. We chose the pepper gel because it doesn't particulate in the air and has good range.

Just to be clear on one point: We aren’t putting pepper gel or other self-defense tools in the box, because we’re expecting teachers to go into the hallway against a gunman. But we absolutely can help them protect their threshold and keep somebody out of their classroom to give them a fighting chance.

About SafeDefend

SafeDefend™ was created to reduce the time it takes for help to arrive while keeping staff, students and visitors safe. The company provides biometric access to a system of notification and response. Staff and law enforcement are immediately notified of the exact location of the crisis. With the touch of the finger, a facility can be locked down in seconds and help is on the way faster than any other solution available. SafeDefend™ also provides the training and tools needed to survive until help arrives. Everything from ways for teachers to protect their classroom or office to trauma response are provided in an easy-to-access safe.

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