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Armed Intruder Resources

It can be hard to predict crime and violent incidents, but you can prepare for them using our free resources.

The best way to protect your staff, your volunteers and the people who depend on your organization is to have an action plan ready to handle armed or hostile intruders. 

Prepare to Prevent 

By thinking about possible situations or risks, and taking steps to minimize the likelihood of them occurring, you limit the risk of surprise and chaos when an incident happens. The following considerations may be helpful: 

  • Establish a team. Develop a safety or risk management team that will be responsible for safety issues and designate a point person for that team. 
  • Assess your facility and response capability. A security assessment by a professional can go a long way toward identifying your organization’s vulnerabilities. Ask local law enforcement to conduct an assessment of your facility and plans. Alternatively, ask security professionals. 
  • Create an organization safety and security plan. Based on the results of the security assessment, develop a security plan that defines the roles of staff and volunteers with regard to safety and security. Your plan should also detail the prevention measures and responses to harmful situations that may arise. 
  • Establish a communication plan. In the case of a crisis, it is important to communicate efficiently—especially for members of your safety or risk management team. Create a plan of action for how your organization will communicate during an incident and decide how you will explain the situation to your community members, the public and media. 
  • Seek Training. When your security plan is in place, ensure all involved staff and volunteers are trained on their roles. Again, the assistance of local law enforcement or a security professional in training can be very helpful. 

Our Safety Resources page includes number of in-depth resources to help you prevent and prepare for crime and violence at your organization including: 

Frequently Asked Questions

If I have an armed security team how should I train them?

  • Make sure all representatives have appropriate licenses, certifications, and training in compliance with state and local law.
  • Work with local law enforcement. It is imperative that you work in conjunction with local law enforcement in designing a security plan as regulations and response plans vary by jurisdiction. Most law enforcement agencies have representatives who can meet with you and assist you in developing a plan specific to your organization.
  • Any armed response needs to be part of a larger organizational security plan. Simply arming a few members of your organization is an incomplete plan. An organizational plan must prepare in advance for an armed intruder, provide guidance for how to react during the attack, and also provide a framework on how to respond after the attack. The plan should include the duties of both armed and unarmed representatives of your organization. Ultimately, both your plan and how the plan is followed, implemented, and executed will be subject to scrutiny during any post attack litigation.

How will my GuideOne policy respond to a claim involving my armed security responding to an active shooter?

  • Organization. If the named insured is an organization, the organization will be afforded coverage based on the vicarious acts of others.Volunteers and Employees. In the event the armed detail is made up of volunteers or employees, the volunteers or employees will be afforded protection as insureds only when the volunteers or employees are following the protocols developed by the organization, and only when the volunteer or employees are in the course and scope of their volunteer status or employment.  The protocols established must be specific.  These protocols are akin to the protocols established by the police and military.  The protocols set forth the limited circumstances as to when a volunteer or employee may engage a shooter. A clear understanding of when to engage (or not) will not only provide the organization a better security detail, but it will also establish when a volunteer or employee is acting within the course and scope of their volunteer status or employment.  When a volunteer or employee is acting within the protocols established by organizational leadership and while the volunteer or employee is in the course and scope of their volunteer or employment duties– as a member of an armed detail–the volunteer or employee will be protected as an insured. But once the volunteer or employee fails to follow the protocols or is not volunteering or working, the volunteer or employee will not be protected by the policy
  • For-Hire Security Detail. Unlike volunteers or employees, a third party security detail (whether or not armed) will not be afforded protection under the policy.  The policy’s coverage does not extend to third party businesses nor does the policy’s premium capture the exposure of a third party business.  Moreover, were the organization to hire a third party security detail, we would expect the security detail to hold the organization harmless and defend the organization against all liability and damages caused by the security detail.
  • Neither Volunteer, Employee or Hired Security Detail.  A third scenario may arise when a well-intentioned invitee or guest engages the shooter and causes bodily injury or property damages.  In this scenario the well-intentioned invitee or guest is not an insured because this individual was not asked to intercede on behalf of the organization and will not be afforded protection by the policy.