• How to prepare for when, not if, another school shooting occurs

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    BOSTON – The school shooting in Parkland, Florida was one of the deadliest in modern U.S. history, but local school security experts warn that it won’t be the last.

    It’s a horrible thought, but Brandon Flanagan told Boston 25 News that these attacks can’t be stopped all together. He does, however, say there are vital steps people can take to minimize the opportunity and damage.

    “Schools should still be safe places of learning for young people and students,” he said. “We can never prevent these things from happening in their entirety. There are too many factors. Too many reasons go into these incidents that occur.”

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    Flanagan is the President and CEO of Danvers-based In-Force Technology. His company travels the region working with police and school districts on the best practices for what to do when, not if they’re faced with an armed intruder.

    “At the end of the day we are walking a fine line but the most important thing we can do is be pre-emptive, proactive and be prepared,” he said.

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    In years past, Flanagan said schools might have practiced the “stay and pray” or “shelter in place” approach, but he says in reality you’re just waiting to become a victim. 

    “I think the thing that is paramount here is that you have to take action, if it's your last effort,” he said.

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    The other critical component is stronger communication and speeding up how quickly police get the initial calls, Flanagan said.

    “We know from studies that have come out from DoJ that the reduction in response time is what will save live,” he told Boston 25 News.

    In-Force Technology also encourages the “closed campus” concept with locked doors and mandatory check in. More controversially, Flanagan said having armed school resource officers is a way to deter would-be shooters – but, he acknowledges, it’s a fine line because you don’t want schools to feel like prison.

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