National Safety Security Protection Association
Who Are They & Why You Should Care
When it comes to school safety and security, there are a lot of organizations out there that do very little to make an impact. Many will do studies to fit their specific agendas or lobby to politicians based on emotion and no clear solution to the problem. However, the National Safety Security Protection Association (NSSPA) strives to change that narrative.
The NSSPA is the leading clearinghouse for K-12 safety and security. The NSSPA, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, is committed to its mission of keeping our nation’s K-12 schools safe. They do this through: education, information, research, accreditation, and guidance to our communities. The NSSPA’s members are made up of experts and professionals from the fields of architecture and building design, physical security, law enforcement, military, and government agencies. The work of these individuals helps the public prevent, mitigate, prepare, respond to, and recover from, emergencies primarily in a K-12 setting.
The NSSPA seeks to deliver on its mission through education, research, and collaboration. They know that in order to earn and maintain the trust of the public, they need to share relevant information based on data, analytics, and by working with a diverse group of community members. In addition to making our schools safer, the NSSPA seeks to be a resource that community members can access to better understand what attacks in schools look like, what we can learn from past attacks, and realistic solutions that can be implemented across the board.
Advocates for Change
One of the biggest challenges that the NSSPA is seeking to minimize is the lack of consistency across the board in terms related to attacks. By reviewing critical terms (such as safety, security, active shooter, mass shooter, intended, unintended, etc.) from state to state, the
NSSPA seeks to streamline the definitions at a national level. This will help to clear up the lack of clear reporting and data around attacks in our schools. If there is clarity at a national level, people
have a chance to better understand, and better prevent, these attacks from happening.
The NSSPA also advocates for streamlined security standards across every state, so that every school district has realistic strategies and actionable ways to keep their schools safe. If the standard is mandated at a federal level, every district has the chance to protect their students, faculty, and staff. Similar to how buildings have to maintain fire code compliance, the NSSPA
believes there should be codes for every building to protect against attacks.
What they Offer
Accreditation is available to individuals or groups that want to help protect against active shooter attacks. They can do this by either becoming an Approved NSSPA K-12 Active Shooter Training Provider or an Approved NSSPA K-12 Security Vulnerability Assessment Provider. By gaining NSSPA approval, these providers set their future clients up for security success by delivering products created by subject matter experts and have been proven to work.
Educational summits are held each year in order to bring together school district leadership, design professionals, community members, and law enforcement to discuss critical issues surrounding school security. These summits not only provide great networking opportunities, they leave participants feeling empowered, knowing there are solutions they can implement in their
Active Assailant provides resources to community members around planning, preparedness, and prevention. Active shooter attacks may seem too big to tackle. However, if community members know about the resources and guidelines available to them, they can be empowered to take action and help change their communities.
Statistics are one of the most ambiguous parts of understanding the state of active shooter attacks in our country. At every level, local, state, and federal, reports on active shooters are lacking. With differences in how we define active shooter attacks, it’s difficult to get a true
measure of the number of attacks that have occurred since data began being tracked. The NSSPA strives to utilize numerous sources to aggregate, organize, analyze, and report data surrounding these attacks. When people realize how widespread these attacks are, as well as understand the communities that these attacks occur in, they may be more apt to take action.
Active shooter standards are lacking in our schools. The NSSPA has identified minimal security standards that schools should be forced to implement as Active Shooter Security Codes. Similar to fire codes, these minimal standards are realistic solutions that school districts across the country can implement almost immediately in order to harden their exteriors, keep attackers at
bay outside of the building, and save lives inside.
Interested in Learning More?
Reach out to the NSSPA today to learn more about their work as well as how you can get involved.