Critical Response Group’s (CRG) Collaborative Response Graphics® have been the subject of viral coverage across conventional and social media as school administrators, law enforcement executives, and government officials search for solutions to the problems that continually surface during and after active school shooter incidents.
“No matter how many school shooting after-action reports you review, you see the same problems identified over and over again — first responders unfamiliar with the location, unavailable floor plans, and responders from different agencies unable to quickly communicate critical information because they lack a common language and common operating picture,” said Philip Coyne, president of CRG, a former New Jersey fusion center director and major in the New Jersey State Police. “Collaborative Response Graphics are the first solution that effectively addresses these recurrent challenges.”
The graphics combine aerial imagery, building floor plans, and critical features into a geospatially accurate, gridded smart graphic. The graphic and its alpha-numeric grid allows first responders from different agencies that have never been to the location to communicate using a common language and common operating picture.
“The solution had previously eluded us as a country because active shooter response is a complex problem that couldn’t be solved by any one industry or profession,” said Keith Germain, chief of police of a New Jersey police department and chief operating officer of CRG. “It took collaboration between military special operators using this planning and response technique overseas, domestic law enforcement officers who understood how to apply it here at home, technological expertise to design a highly-functional domestic platform, and business experts who could bring the solution to market at a price point that was easily achievable within the constraints of public school budgets.”
While the media coverage of Collaborative Response Graphics and their value has become more prominent in the wake of recent school shootings, experts in law enforcement and the school insurance industry have been eagerly embracing the concept for more than two years.
“In my 42-year law enforcement career, there have been very few products that I have been truly excited about or would endorse. Collaborative Response Graphic is one of those products,” said Robert Stevenson, executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police.
In addition to the Michigan association, police chief’s associations from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana have also recognized the use of CRG’s products as a best practice when it comes to planning for and responding to active threat incidents.
The endorsement of CRG extends beyond the law enforcement community. Groups like the New Jersey School Insurance Group (NJSIG) believe that Collaborative Response Graphics are such a valuable safety solution that they invited CRG to address business administrators from their client schools. The series of meetings was designed to highlight the use of NJSIG safety grants that are awarded annually for the procurement of Collaborative Response Graphics.
Collaborative Response Graphics are now in use in over 200 schools across the country.
“We already have the best first responders in the world,” said Coyne. “Our goal is to give them the tool that will finally enable them to all be on the same page.”