Local News

Security consultant: 'You can't plan for everything'

Posted September 17, 2013 5:43 p.m. EDT
Updated September 17, 2013 7:09 p.m. EDT

— Monday's shooting at the Washington Navy Yard has prompted a national debate about security.

Jerry Blanchard, chief executive officer of Risk Management Associates, a consulting firm in Raleigh that has worked with NASA, the Department of Defense and the U.S. General Services Administration, counsels clients about the importance of thorough security clearances for employees.

Blanchard says the Navy Yard rampage, which killed 12 people and injured 14 others, is not the kind of thing anyone can predict or prevent with certainty.

“You cannot plan for everything, but the thing to do is have good policies and procedures, and follow those policies and procedures with respect to your hiring practices, your background investigations,” he said.

Blanchard said although it's important to have good basic security, key card access, security cameras and locked doors, those measure are not going to stop a determined shooter. The best defense, he said, are employees.

“When you're talking about workplace violence and those kinds of things in the workplace, that's where friends and co-workers can be the first line of defense in detecting something is not right,” he said.

Blanchard said as more is learned about Aaron Alexis, the man identified as the Navy Yard shooter, it’s likely that warning signs will be discovered.

“I think when the authorities dig through, we'll find that there's a history of things that have happened that could have been flagged, and somebody, maybe, could have intervened a little bit more and prevented it,” he said.