I-Team Report: School Risk Report Card - WNEM TV 5

I-Team Report: School Risk Report Card

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MID-MICHIGAN (WNEM) -

It’s moments like the shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this year that are forever burned into our minds.

Young lives stolen at the end of a gun in a place where they should always be safe.

But what will it take to achieve that safety?

Daniel Young is the owner of a company called Circadian Risk.

He said he may have found the answer to the question we’ve all been searching for.

“What are precursors to specific incidents? If you think of automobile insurance, getting a lot of speeding tickets is a precursor to an accident, right? So, you’re a riskier driver, your premiums go up. We want to identify what are precursors to something like a school shooting. If we can identify those and then put in counter-measures in place, we can prevent these incidents from happening in the first place,” Young explained.

His technology would help identify those precursors.

“For schools themselves, what we can provide is technology in which professional, security consultants, or police, can analyze their risk at their building. And understanding what they need to do to improve that risk or mitigate it,” Young said.

He walked the I-Team through exactly how all of this works at a building in the Holly School District.

First, there’s a questionnaire with hundreds of questions.

“One is an interview based approach where we ascertain and understand how you’re doing things from a procedural basis. Things we can’t visibly see. Are you doing background checks? Are you checking back 10 years? Are you verifying their school employment," Young said.

Next, a walk through the building.

“Law enforcement or a consultant will actually walk around a building and document their vulnerabilities, their deficiencies. If there is compliance or regulatory needs. That can be anything from cameras to an access control door, or something as simple as a broken lock on a door," Young said.

All of this is done using specialized technology that Young developed himself. The I-Team followed him through the halls to get a closer look.

“We take a photo where a camera should be, for example. Then we can draw on it. Say, there should be a camera there, document the location. We can Geotag it if we want. Then we answer questions about it. Are cameras unable to be tampered with? Are there lights that bling the cameras? Can they monitor paths of people? Is there a camera needed in this location? Then we go through and put in a review, and we can document it as a high priority, like this immediately needs to be taken care of, and then submit," Young said.

He said it’s important to complete this process at least once a month.

“Risk changes every day. If in the event you do an assessment today and everything is fine, tomorrow that door lock could be broken. You have to continually assess. It’s not a once a year thing. It’s not a 'I do it once every few years.' It is continual. And the more you do it, the better prepared you’ll be,” Young said.

Risk can also change based on the situation.

For example, your risk would be greater if you were in the school gym during something like a pep rally or a basketball game.

“There’s a lot of things to consider even in schools about special events. If you have commencements ceremonies, all these different things, you have to take into consideration night time changes. In the dark, it’s gonna be totally different than it is in light," Young said.

This was all done as a demonstration in the Holly School District.

All of the schools we offered a free demonstration of the service to turned us down, saying they were afraid it would put a target on their back.

But we do know of at least one local district that is currently using a service very similar to the Circadian Risk.

It’s important to note Circadian doesn’t function alone. They work closely with two other companies. One is the Tactical Institute, based out of Washington, DC. They monitor internet activity using key trigger words on social media. So far, they’ve been credited with preventing 19 planned attacks.

Circadian also works with a non-profit called Safer Minds. That group focuses on fundraising that allows schools to pay for these services.

Young said he thinks this could be a big part of the answer to keeping schools safe, and those we spoke with in the community said it definitely wouldn’t hurt.

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