This week, Jason Russell, former police officer, Secret Service agent and current founder of Secure Education Consultants, talks to us about the important subject of school security. Jason merged his experience in security and crisis communication with his wife’s knowledge of child care centers and early education to bring a unique service to the market. Jason shares with Kris what exactly SEC does, the assessment process he goes through to make sure schools are secure, the common gaps in security he sees, and how we can move forward to ensure our schools have the highest level of security.
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Key Takeaways From This Podcast:
Jason founded Secure Education Consultants back in 2012, after a 20-year career as a police officer in Michigan and with the Secret Service. While working with the Secret Service, he established safety and security for high profile events and individuals.
SEC started as a way for Jason to protect his own children and he couldn’t find anything like what he was looking for, so he started it himself. The original plan was to stay small but SEC grew quickly and began servicing larger businesses with consultants at the highest level of expertise.
Jason met his wife while working as a personal trainer in his downtime while also working for the Secret Service Agent. Her background in owning a child care center plus his security background was a great mix for their next step in developing SEC. At one point, Jason sold SEC but later bought it back, and although doing that worked out well for him at the time, he doesn’t recommend making that a part of a business plan.
Tragic events such as Sandy Hook spurred Jason to become even more deeply immersed in the unique nature of providing security to younger-aged kids.
Jason’s company looks at everything that touches safety and security including entrance and how the facility operates. They do an in-depth assessment of the physical features of security, the process and procedure set in place, and how the relationship is between the two things and between the leadership and the staff. They then give actionable and practical fixes so the school can make changes based upon what will have the highest level of impact on security.
SEC offers Virtual Certification Programs, so they can provide their assessment online and by phone, making sure teachers and staff acquire the knowledge and training they need.
The common gaps Jason sees in security are no secure entry, security measures being used incorrectly or staff being unsure how to use them in time of an emergency, code words that are not in the best practice, and no proper training to carry out the plan.
SEC can also help with crisis management, and providing a crisis plan to help people communicate their message correctly.
If Jason had to do things all over again, he would diversify his education to learn more about the business end of things.