Safety of schools - foreign experience

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school arrows, terrorism and other modern threats, how to confront them, analysis of U.S. experience in using special municipal police units to ensure the security of educational institutions

Ensuring the safety of schools, Part 1 - Foreign experience

Safety of schools.
Part 1.
Foreign experience.

Thought to publish article on safety of schools arose right after the tragic events in the city of Kerch. However I decided to wait at least half a year that «hotheads» there is a little poostyla, and the picture of the event became clearer. I suggest to leave search of motives of the criminal and the reasons of his action to psychologists and sociologists, and search «extreme» - to officials and «network experts». In this article I want to deal not with the first immemorial question «Who Is Guilty?», and to try to find the answer to the second «What to do?» and how exactly to make it?
The situation with safety of our schools, to put it mildly, leaves much to be desired. And recent tragedies visually showed it. Yes, tragedies, I not just like that used plural: only in four years preceding the Kerch events, similar cases in our country was, at least, five - in Moscow, Ivanteyevka, Perm, Ulan-Ude and Sterlitamak.
The concept «School Shooter» came to us from the USA where faced this phenomenon last century. The notorious case in the Columbine High School was not a reference point, similar cases were there earlier. Respectively, the USA has the greatest experience in a part of studying of this phenomenon, and, above all - ways of counteraction to it. I began studying with a question: How safety at the American schools is ensured? Whether there are positively proved systems of counteraction to such threats there?
It is necessary to tell that in most cases in respect of protection of schools I did not find anything special. All security system of most schools in the USA a little in what differs from ours, mainly it is the metaldetector on an entrance and the private security guard, and at some schools and there is no that.

Note: in the USA regarding safety of schools there are no standards and rules, uniform, obligatory to execution. It is feature of their state system - each state, and often and each city, itself solves, as well as than to ensure safety of educational institutions within the desires and financial opportunities. On the websites of FBI and U.S. Department of Education there are many materials concerning safety of schools, but all of them have rather advisory nature.

However I nevertheless managed to find examples of special approach to the matter, to be exact specialized police services of safety of schools, I also suggest to consider them.

NYPD SSD (The New York City Police Department School Safety Division)The New York City Police Department School Safety Division (NYPD SSD)
it is translated as - Department of school safety of Department of the New York City Police Department, however residents of the megalopolis more often call this service «school police».
Since 1998 SSD is structural division of Department of the New York City Police Department, before the Department was in the structure of city Department of Education.
It occurred when Rudolph Giuliani famous for the innovative approach to questions of safety was the mayor of New York. During this period the city police underwent serious reforming, and the most important that during these reforms serious positive results were achieved. For incomplete eight years New York under the leadership of Rudolph Giuliani and his team turned from one of the most criminal into one of the safest cities of the USA.
Rudolph Giuliani, apparently, was an obvious supporter of centralization of all law enforcement agencies and divisions of safety in uniform profile structure. Therefore he brought practically all municipal services and divisions with police functions (and those was much) out of non-core departments and managements, and reallotted them to Department of the New York City Police Department.

Note: in the USA all police have local submission, such concept as uniform state police there just does not exist. For example, Department of the New York City Police Department which we consider in this case, this structural division of city administration. The commissioner of city police (the highest official) is appointed to a position and acts from it the decision of the mayor of New York. The city police completely from means of the city budget is financed. Upon all New York City Police Department is municipal. Approximately by the same principle the police also are organized and works in other American cities.

Now SSD is rather large structural division of Department of the New York City Police Department which number of staff is more than 5000 so-called agents of safety today, officially positions of employees of this category are called
SSA SSD NYPD (School Safety Agents School Safety Division of the New York City Police Department)School Safety Agents (SSA abbreviation is more often used) and 200 police officers.
The main part of employees of SSD have no full-fledged police status. Despite it, they wear a uniform similar police (only color of a shirt differs), also SSA are given practically all police authority: can make detention and bringing in police station, to carry out personal inspection, to limit the suspect of the rights, to use if necessary physical force and special means. Also in an arsenal of SSA there is special transport, with a police coloring and special signals.
The main objective of staff of SSA is an ensuring personal security of pupils and staff of municipal schools of New York and also protection of their property. Agents provide access control on the territory of educational institution, examination of pupils and visitors regarding a bringing of weapon or other forbidden objects on the school territory. In addition, they patrol the territory, adjacent to school, for the purpose of prevention of thefts, attempts of illegal penetration, vandalism and other illegal acts. One more task of SSA is control of that persons concerning whom the injunction is established did not approach school and children.

Note: in the USA there is such type of restriction in the rights as the ban to appear in certain places or even to approach them closer, than on a certain distance, irrespective of time of day. Often similar ban is imposed concerning persons, previously convicted or suspects of crimes concerning children, they are forbidden even to approach schools, kindergartens, platforms and other child care facilities.

Besides SSD in the New York City Police Department there is one more division directly related to safety of pupils of schools.
SCG SSD NYPD (School Crossing Guards School Safety Division of the New York City Police Department)School Crossing Guards (SCG) - the staff of this division dressed in a uniform exercises control at crosswalks near schools and regulates traffic on these sites, ensuring safety of children when crossing the road. In spite of the fact that SCG is structural division of Department of the New York City Police Department, his employees unlike SSD are not police officers or agents, this division completely civil. Judging by the section SCG on the website of the New York City Police Department, for employment it is not necessary to have even secondary education there: it is rather good to know English, have an interview, to pass a drug test and to end a six-day course in police academy.
It should be noted that for the USA creation of separate police services on safety of schools of the practician not so rare. «The school police», similar on the tasks, are also in other American megalopolis - Los Angeles.

Los Angeles School Police DepartmentLos Angeles School Police Department (LASPD)
Despite the name - the Department of school police of Los Angeles, LASPD is not included into structure of city police of Los Angeles, and treats the municipal government of education.
LASPD is a full-fledged police service which part besides security guard and patrol service also are:
- department of criminal investigations (Join Our Team);
- special forces detachment (Critical Response Team);
- film logical department;
- patrol division by bicycles;
- department of public relations and other law enforcement agencies;
- department of psychological providing;
- training center.
Positions of employees of LASPD are called police. Also, in difference from the colleagues from New York, in Los Angeles the staff of school police serves with firearms.
Certainly, outside of LASPD looks impressively, but what efficiency of such service?
According to data from open sources, the number of staff of LASPD is about 500 employees, including auxiliary divisions (shots, providing, accounts department, etc.). Unfortunately, it was not succeeded to find exact data on the staff list of department therefore proceeding from peculiar American police of pragmatism in personnel questions we will assume that 6% of the total number of employees, that is 30 people are the share of all administrative and economic facilities. We will consider 20 more people absent for good reasons (a holiday, hospital). Such small figure is explained by the fact that the schedule of work of school police is closely connected with the school schedule, and police officers mainly go to a holiday in the period of a school break. Conditionally «in a system» 450 employees, from this figure it is deductible 30 more employees are those who are not involved in patrol service: control room, special troops, detectives. We receive 420 police officers. At the replaceable schedule the number of the police officers who are daily taking up service will be about 210 people. At the organization of service in the two-shift schedule day/night, it is logical to assume that at most not less than 80% (170 people) of forces and means have to be allocated in the first (day) shift when at schools there are occupations. If to use standard type of police squad from two employees, then it turns out that daily in the first change with the street there are 85 patrol forces of school police. In total in the territory of service of LASPD 1300 schools are located, so 15-16 schools are the share of each police squad. Even if to set to each dress only the most elementary tasks (to stop by at school, to come inside, having designated the presence, to take an interest at the director of studies or the director whether all as it should be, and to make a territory round of school), it will take not less than 15 minutes. At least 5 more minutes on reaching to the necessary school. Total only 20 minutes on each school, and such schools on its site 16 turn out. Actually, to go round all schools located on a route, the dress needs to spend about 6 hours, respectively for 12-hour shift the dress will visit each school at best 2 times, having in total given it 30 minutes.
Thus, considering the number of division and its internal structure it is possible to assume that LASPD ensures safety of schools not exposure of posts of physical protection in each of them, and by increase in police presence and density of patrol in regions of location of educational institutions and routes of the most active movement of pupils. In addition to it also the efficiency of response to incidents considerably increases in schools, and considering presence at LASPD of own operational search division and special forces detachment, they can stop both criminal, and terrorist threats.

What model is more effective, LASPD or NYPD SSD?
If to compare efficiency of safety of schools in the being available cases of attempts of massacre, then here their indicators are identical. According to statistical reports of FBI *, from 2000 for 2019 in educational institutions of the USA 58 facts of massacre (including attempts) were recorded from which 43 happened in schools.
New York is mentioned in the report once: On February 09, 2004 incident at «Columbia High School» - one teacher of school was wounded, the shooter was detained.
In Los Angeles for this period there was also the only case of mass violence at school. At the same time it for some reason was not included in the report of FBI, it is possible because the suspect did not reach age of criminal liability. It is about the incident taking place on February 2, 2018 at «Salvador Castro Middle School» where five pupils were wounded. The girl of twelve years who was detained was the shooter.
In my opinion, more effective division, the system of the organization and which activity more corresponds to the level of modern threats is NYPD SSD. Why?
First, this completely police division which is structural unit of Department of the New York City Police Department. Direct belonging to police provides SSD much more opportunities and resources regarding safety.
Secondly, the organization of safety of schools in the New York City Police Department is the built multilevel system which begins the action outside the territory of educational institution. Every morning, when children go to classes, on several intersections located near each school there are traffic controllers from SCG (I will remind that in difference from other cities in New York traffic controllers are employees of police), which stop transport to give to children the chance safely to cross the road. It provides not only the high level of safety on roads near schools, but also the first line of observation and identification of potential dangers. I was not present at instructing of staff of SCG, but is sure that besides control of a road situation it sets a task to conduct visual observation of suspects and vehicles near schools.
Also during this period the strengthened patrol is conducted by police officers from SSD. I can assume besides that them (police, but not agents of safety) a task - patrol of regions of location of schools and performance of function of mobile rapid reaction forces on signals and incidents.
Directly in schools agents of SSA ensure safety and safety of property of pupils, teachers and also the most educational institution. I would add to it also secret expeditious cover of schools which is provided with specialized divisions of police with specific tasks (we will call it so). In a complex rather effective model of a security system of schools turns out simple, but at the same time.

Use of foreign experience in creation of a security system of schools in Russia
I consider that a security system of schools which works in New York at a certain completion and existence of necessary conditions, it would be quite possible to use also in our country. But at the moment it is impossible even in the theory because this model is constructed on the base of municipal police which is not in our country.
But even if hypothetically to assume that the legal basis is and the offered model is submitted for discussion what will be told by sceptics and critics? I think that as the main arguments they will use these two:
1. Such model is not perfect, the efficiency of its use in our country is doubtful;
2. Such system is too expensive for the budget.
As for the first point, I will agree to 100%: perfect security systems do not exist. However, they never also existed and in the near future too will not appear. To any, even to the most innovative lock, it is possible to pick up a master key. However nobody refuses locks on doors of rooms and safes. The efficiency of any security system is defined by one simple comparison: whether there is a chance that the potential criminal will be detained still before manages to overcome this system and even if will manage whether he then will manage to execute conceived before it is stopped. About doubts in efficiency of use of this model in our country it is possible to agree too because all new in what we have no practical experience yet, raises reasonable doubts. Foreign experience too is not always suitable for Russia, especially if it is thoughtless to copy it that at us, alas, not such a rarity. Therefore as it was already told above, this model is interesting rather as the good idea which can be taken as a basis, in more detail to study experience of its practical application that then on its basis to develop the suitable for use model in our country. There is nothing shameful in studying and adopting that the best that is in other countries in this question, to improve and add it with the practices. In case of success it is possible that will already study in the future at us. And to understand, it is how efficient and this model will be effective, it is necessary to create at first it, and then to check it in practice.
Alas, but there are no other ways here, only practice will show the actual level of its efficiency and vulnerability. Especially as in this case we especially risk nothing because today in our country the security system of educational institutions just does not exist. No, it is formal it is, but mostly on paper, in the form of protocols and different decisions of councils, the commissions, meetings, etc. However actually from all public security measures (about secret I cannot argue as I do not possess reliable information) at us only posts of physical protection with employees of private protection, well and somewhere else technical means of safety. However, not everywhere serviceable, but even where serviceable, most often not used.
It would be possible to tell about quality of protection of schools by the private security companies separately, but it too long. I will just explain that the security company which will protect schools gets out according to Federal law No. 44-FZ, in other words – the one who will offer the minimum price of the services wins. Minimum! It is sure that for understanding of the one to whom safety of schools in our country is entrusted today it is quite enough.
Concerning the second point, I will tell so, statistics of tragedies, not only in our country, but also around the world so far only confirms relevance of a statement that all that it was succeeded to save on safety of people, subsequently to be spent for payment of compensations to families which were injured from consequences of such economy. Also I would like to ask a question to those who consider that it is expensive and burdensome for the budget: And how much is life and health of the child? No, I do not exaggerate. The economic feasibility is calculated by a simple formula - the ultimate goal and costs of its achievement is defined, and the harmony of the planned result to the resources spent for its achievement is estimated then. The planned result, in this case, is safety of children, preservation of their lives and health.
So how many it costs, time you say, that costs of it are not justified?

Instead of an epilog
The world around us changes and becomes more and more dangerous. It is, unfortunately, reality, though unpleasant. Terrorism and so-called «School arrows» turned from illusive threat into real for a long time. And it means that it is necessary to develop effective measures of counteraction to this threat, without hesitating to borrow experience of other countries. Especially as abroad faced this threat earlier, than we. To study, for the present there is such opportunity, it is necessary on others mistakes. Because we already began to pay for the with human lives.

* Statistical reports of FBI of the USA on the recorded facts (including attempts) massacre:
2000 - 2013;
2014 - 2015;
2016 - 2017;

date of publication - on May 10, 2019
photo in heading from the website New York Daily News

I want to express huge gratitude for the help in writing of this and other articles to Semyon Yulianov. In the blog Semyon states the opinion of current problems in activity of law enforcement agencies of our country and shares stories from own practice. In its articles objective and critical judgments well mix up with venomous comments and flashing humour. I am personally familiar with Semyon many years, this is the Professional from capital letter, more than a quarter of the century given to service in bodies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Prosecutor's office.

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the text is translated by means of technical means of the translation
original language of the text – Russian
some words and phrases can be translated not correctly and not correspond to original sense

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