Firestorm Chief Security Officer Discusses How to Prevent Incidents of Violence
Following the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Firestorm CSO, Jason Russell, spoke with media channels to educate the public on identifying behaviors of concern and preventing future tragedies.
Ex-Secret Service agent discusses steps schools can take to prevent tragedy
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– The tragedy unfolding in Parkland, Fla. is impacting the entire nation and causing everyone to question how to prevent something like this from ever happening again.
FOX 17 spoke with Jason Russell on Wednesday, a security expert who served as a police officer and US Secret Service agent. Russell says almost every school shooting we’ve seen in the past could’ve been prevented if someone noticed the warning signs.
“They’re focusing a lot on the physical security measures, but they’re not focusing on what’s probably the most beneficial prevention strategy, which is looking for the warning signs that a student or person is going down this road towards launching an attack and that’s really where the strategy should be focused,” said Russell.
Understanding the warning signs of mass shootings
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Looking back, some are saying there were signs 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz was on the brink of a homicidal attack.
Cruz is the gunman who police say killed 17 people and wounded 14 others at a high school in Parkman, Florida on Wednesday Feb 14.
West Michigan security expert Jason Russell of Firestorm Solutions says there are always warning signs that precede an active shooter attack.
Investigators say Cruz posted disturbing material on social media after he was expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. There are also reports he was obsessively stalking a girl in the school. He had a semi-automatic rifle and a stockpile of loaded magazines.
“And some of the things we are hearing in this situation are the things I hear over and over again from previous attacks,” says Russell. “We just have to do a better job picking up on those things and hopefully intervene. It is never going to be perfect but we have to make an effort.”
West Michigan security expert addresses Florida school shooting
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Video and photographs are emerging from Florida after 17 people were killed when a former student went on a rampage and a security expert believes it might have been prevented.
Newschannel 3’s Anna Giles spoke to Jason Russell, a former Secret Service agent who runs a security company focused on active shooter training in West Michigan.
He believes the school did everything they could once shots were fired, but says they could have stopped the shooter before things got that far.
Firestorm Solutions Chief Security Officer Jason Russell said, “I don’t think it’s acceptable to say, ‘yeah this is just going to happen and we just have to deal with it.’”
Inside local district’s efforts to stop a shooting
ROCKFORD, MI -Russell, a former Secret Service agent, says many schools across the country now have secure entry points, sometimes with ballistic glass, camera surveillance and the ability to lock classrooms from the inside. But, he noted, just having the infrastructure isn’t enough.
“One of the biggest weaknesses we see in many districts that have them is the people that control the vestibules have never received any training,” Russell said. “So what it becomes essentially is a very expensive doorbell.”
In the Parkland shooting, the shooter was already inside the building when he opened fire.
“So what you have there is a breakdown of the procedures, essentially,” Russell said. “Because what are they doing in the building? How did they get access? Were they supposed to be in there?”
School security expert says threats can come from inside or outside
LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – What can schools do to prevent incidents like the Florida shootings from happening? There may not be a foolproof method, but experts say there are things that can and should be done to better protect students and staff. 6 News spoke with the chief security officer for Firestorm Solutions, a security firm that works with schools in 42 states.
Former Secret Service agent Jason Russell has worked with schools right here in mid-Michigan. Russell urges more schools to get take the issue seriously.
“They put it off, we’ll try to get this in the budget next year or you know we’re doing it on our own but they don’t have the expertise. They don’t have the specific security expertise to do it on their own,” said school security expert Jason Russell.