Monday, December 17, 2012

Former SWAT team member and Officer Survival Instructor Michael Hearns offers school survival tips for educators and students faced with a deadly scenario

Many people who read this blog know of me as a former undercover police detective who worked within the Medelin and Cali drug cartels. Among other things I am a certified Officer Survival Instructor and a former lead penetrator on the SWAT team. Below are my suggestions to make a school enviornment safer for educators and students,
and what to do if a Newtown/Columbine situation should arise:

1.     Office gossip is a mess and we all  understand that but if a
co worker is having marital problems or other domestic issues that
can be transcended to work just keep abreast of it all. Bring some wooden
 wedges (no not the shoes ....the little triangle pieces of wood) to the office
 and keep them in your desk.  Something breaks bad you can
wedge the door as well as lock it.  If the lock gets opened or broken
they still can't open the door. When I was on the entry team
with SWAT I carried 3-4 of them in my cargo bdu's and there were times
when we as a team had to keep moving and could not check every
 door, so I would wedge them and then we would come back and check them.

2.     Know your exits, and know the alternative exits as well.
Count the steps to the exits so that in a smoke filled environment
you can count your way to the door.

3.     Know your fire extinguishers too...a blast of CO2 smoke can
maybe be enough to get you out in the concealment. Plus those
exstinguishers  hurt when you clang someone with them. Keep a
good large can of aerosol Lysol in the classroom, it blends in
well, so no one will question it being there but stings the crap
out of eyes when sprayed into them

4.    Be cognizant of your reflection in glass, aquariums, coffee pots could be hiding and not know that you are being reflected
in the glass to the bad guy.

5.   Phone lines can be cut. Keep a cell in the classroom. put it on
silent but keep it on. It will take too long to boost up if you
have to turn it on.

6.   If your classroom door has a window have a ready to use
shade.piece of paper, contact paper, shelf liner etc precut and
ready to sticky tack up to cover the window so that an offender
can't look in and see you and your students.

7.   Keep 5-6 good size unopened soup cans in the classroom. Once
again it blends nicely no one will suspect anything. Put the cans
in a pillowcase and twist the case, makes a heck of a swing type
weapon or you can throw the cans  at either an offender or a stuck
window to break it open.

Michael Hearns an Anti Money Laundering specialist with over 24 years of AML experience can also be found at and on twitter at :!/LaunderingMoney   and