• Public Venues Must Increase The Safety Of Patrons and Employees
  • December 19, 2012 | Author: Bernard F. Walsh
  • Law Firm: Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh - Bradenton Office
  • Given the recent tragic events of the Oregon Mall shooting and Colorado theater shooting, it has become clear that businesses and other public venues must improve the safety and security of their property. 

    While it's impossible for anyone to predict when the next attack from a random mentally disturbed individual will happen, many actions can be taken to mitigate or reduce the impact of these terrible events.

    In the case of the recent Clackamas Town Center mall shooting, Jacob Tyler Roberts was able to make it into the mall, even dressed with a hockey mask carrying an assault rifle.

    Given that these types of events are occurring with a frightening regularity, a professional security force - yes even mall cops - should have any public entrances and exits under close and constant surveillance, as well as a  plan on how to protect the public should an attack occur. Sadly, it is now unacceptable for any security provider to not have an effective plan to deal with a shooter, and businesses that hire theses security companies should directly ask about how they would prevent such a situation.

    In the case of the Colorado theater shooting, James Holmes was able to place blocks in the theater exit doors to keep them open so he could later use those doors to gain entrance and commit his terrible crime. Again the security personal or even any employee down to the ushers should have noticed the exits, which are supposed to be locked shut, had been blocked open. While locking those doors may not have fully prevented a tragedy - it would given employees, security and patrons, time to recognize what was happening, and certainly reduce the ability for James Holmes to carry out his plan.

    In the past, the sheer unlikeliness of these events has lulled many into complacency, but with the increasing number of mass shootings in America, those responsible for the safety of other must take a hard look at the real possibility it could happen on their watch.

    With the emotional pain, loss and shock that immediately follows such events the last thing anyone wants to do is begin to point fingers. However without understanding where the owners and operators of these businesses could have prevented these tragedies AND holding them accountable for their failings, not much will change.

    The simple act of having regular checks of locked doors, having security be present at the entrances of public buildings could have prevented or reduce the impact of these events - instead, the citizens of these communities are faced with tragedy, loss and certainly civil law suits to come.