Everything Started with the Sandy Hook School Shooting … Taking Action to Create Change

“Couple-preneurs” Steven S. and Taylor Smith started their training and consulting business in 2013 following the Sandy Hook School Shooting on December 14, 2012. This shooting was the tipping point in which the Smiths knew work had to be done to safeguard American schools. What they did not know is how this training would be received by schools, and eventually corporate and faith-based settings.

The Shrimp Tank Boca Raton co-hosts, Jason Hill and Dr. Kidwell, got to the bottom of their business’ humble beginnings and passion behind starting.

What Happened to Sandy Hook School and Where Is It Located?

Sandy Hook Elementary School is located in Newtown, Connecticut, United States. On December 14, 2012, the school and Newtown community suffered a terrible incident at the hands of a deranged gunman who took the lives of many, including children, and broke hearts across the nation. The twenty-year-old culprit’s attack lasted less than 20 minutes, but the events of that day still haunt us today.

How Many School Shootings Since Sandy Hook?

According to the Center for Victim Research Repository, there have been 2,409 more mass shootings in the United States since the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012, and approximately 200 of these have been in schools such as the Parkland Shooting. They use the definition of Mass Shootings established by the Gun Violence Archive that reads,  “The foundation definition being that they have a minimum of four victims shot, either injured or killed, not including any shooter who may also have been killed or injured in the incident”

These shootings do not account for many other threats that plague our schools such as violent parents, students and guests; bomb threats; suspicious packages; medical emergencies and more.

GD’s First 6 Months of Being in Business

Prior to becoming a business, Steve created a program to teach school administrators how to manage their school during an active threat, and for teachers to know how to manage their students.

As an active law enforcement officer, Steve presented his program to the Chief of Police who encouraged him to begin implementing this program into the city’s schools where he worked. Steve sought the advice of peers in the field and became worried with some comments that school administrators may not welcome this type of training. Some cautioned that this type of training is an unknown, and there were no other standards to compare it to. Although he received this advice, he proceeded with his goal to provide confidence-building training. Fortunately, as Steve began training teachers in his city, the outpour of support came barreling through with gratitude from principals and teachers especially who felt they were now equipped with a solid plan and adequate training.

Teachers began to see themselves as the  “first responders” during an active threat. They are the ones in front of it and need to know what to do until the professional first responders arrive on scene.

Mass shootings may be a rare occurrence; but the fact is they are a risk. Any risk is worth being prepared for. Taking it a step beyond and understanding how to treat an active threat (not just a threat with a gun, but any type of incident putting teachers and students at risk) is something many administrators tell us they lack confidence in.

Do Businesses Need Active Shooter Training Too?

Absolutely! The Center for Victim Research Repository statistics show us that schools are not the only target for these incidents. Dissatisfied clients may seek justice, or perhaps, a disgruntled employee may seek revenge upon termination. The unfortunately active shooter incident witnessed in the Fort Lauderdale Airport in 2017 and the latest active shooter scare in Town Center Mall in Boca Raton changed the way society views public places and businesses.

Many times, someone’s mental health plays a factor into the violent behaviors they act upon.

Unfortunately, such events cannot always be predicted and stopped ahead of time. Plans for prevention are a must. Additional plans for when preventative measures fail is expected.

Who Needs An Active Shooter Training?

Companies and Schools are not the only institutions that need training as active threats can unfold at any place, and at any time! Colleges, Places of Worship, Hospitals, and even Law Enforcement/Security Officers should obtain the proper training in order to be better prepared.

What Happens When Somebody Hires the Guardian Defense Team?

Initially, a GD Specialist will meet with the administrator to first understand their safety concerns. From there, a customized approach will ensue.

Through Guardian Defense’s initiative of POLICY-TRAIN-DRILL, GD experts will apply a comprehensive plan to ensure:

  1. Proper policies are in place;
  2. Effective training options are presented; and
  3. A stable and easy drill training schedule is developed.

Why Should You Hire the Guardian Defense Team?

It is not easy for an administrator to choose to proceed with this type of training. Principals and company owners know it is absolutely necessary to do this type of training. What they don’t know is who to choose.

To keep it simple, you should know GD is the right fit for these 3 simple, yet important facts:

  1. Our instructors have true experience. All instructors are current law enforcement officers and some have even responded to multiple active shooter incidents such as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting.
  2. GD instructors demonstrate compassion for the sensitivity and unknowns around this subject; and the personal prior experiences the participants may have had in the past.
  3. The GD team provides a professional experience where each person is treated with respect and privacy is valued. Professionalism is expected, but not always valued in current times. It is something that GD prides itself on.

Because there are not a lot of companies like Guardian Defense teaching this information, it can be difficult to compare services. Furthermore, each company seems to approach this topic differently. You may read more about our guide to choosing the right approach here.

Takeaway of the Interview

Listen to the podcast in order to take a more in-depth look at WHO WE ARE at Guardian Defense.

The Must-Listen to Podcast is Here!!

Schedule a meeting with Taylor NOW and learn how we could help put you and your team as ease.