Capital Gazette Shooting Proves Security Isn’t Just for Public Buildings Anymore

June’s mass shooting at the Capital Gazette office in Annapolis, Maryland, has many traditional workplaces looking to enterprise security systems to keep their employees safe from unexpected danger.

Tragedy struck in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 28 when a man armed with a shotgun and smoke grenades stormed into the newsroom of the Capital Gazette, killing five of its staff members and injuring two others. The suspect, Jarrod W. Ramos, had a history of conflict with the local newspaper — his attack came after years of harassing the paper and its employees via a number of social media accounts.

While mass shootings seem to be becoming increasingly common across the country, churches, schools, courtrooms, and other public spaces like movie theaters and concerts tend to be the targets of such attacks.

June’s Gazette shooting joins the April 3 attack on YouTube’s San Bruno, California, headquarters as part of the small, but growing number of attacks on private workplaces. And as it becomes clear that enterprise security is no longer for spaces that we typically think of as high-risk, more and more businesses find themselves seeking out security solutions that will keep their employees safe.

 

What Happened

In July 2011, the Capital Gazette published an article with the headline “Jarrod Wants to Be Your Friend” detailing a harassment charge against Ramos. According to the article, the charge came as a result of Ramos’ adding a former high school classmate on Facebook and, over the course of almost a year, sending her a series of unwanted messages that eventually escalated into frightening threats.

The article prompted Ramos to turn his aggressions toward the newspaper, and he spent the next seven years waging a social media campaign against its journalists, even going so far as to sue them for defamation. Despite Ramos’ long-standing grudge against the paper, the fact that he had never made direct threats against its employees or tried to enter its offices led police to believe that he was not a threat, according to a police report obtained after the shooting.

They were proved tragically wrong when Ramos shot through the glass front door of the Capital Gazette offices and proceeded to open fire on the unsuspecting private workplace. Ramos killed five employees and injured two more, making it clear that not even private work environments are safe from this kind of horrifying violence anymore.

 

What We Can Do to Protect Employees

Fortunately, employers and the workers in their care are not helpless in the face of this new danger. While enterprise security systems may have previously been seen as reserved for courthouses, large schools, and other government buildings, the necessary technology does exist to keep private workplaces safe from active shooter threats.

Surveillance cameras are one cost-effective option that can significantly increase workplace safety, add protection and accountability, and potentially put a stop to a dangerous situation before it even begins.

Duress alarm systems can also be vitally helpful to the management of an active shooter situation. Calling 911 on the phone can attract the attention of an invader, but a silent alarm system can instantly send the identity and location of a staff member to response teams without endangering him or her further.

Implementing an active shooter response plan and making sure that your employees are well-versed in it can be another effective method of keeping your workers safe in your care. Taking these steps will not just keep your employees physically unharmed, though — the sense of wellbeing that preparedness can bring is invaluable to their mental health and satisfaction in the workplace.

 

The Right Partner

At Turn-key Technologies (TTI), we offer decades of industry experience in keeping schools, detention centers, hospitals, and courthouses safe from threatening situations. Sadly, it’s time that these advanced security solutions make their way into private workplaces as well. We recognize that it’s scary to consider the possibility of an active shooter threat so close to home, but we have the expertise to help.

Our TTI Guardian duress system comes equipped with everything that you need to mitigate risk in the case of an active shooter scenario, while our camera and surveillance systems offer a wide range of coverage to discourage criminal activity in and around your workplace. Enterprise security isn’t just for public buildings anymore — reach out to TTI today to learn how to keep your employees safe.

By Tony Ridzyowski

August 8, 2018

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