Community Security


Violent incidents can happen anywhere and at any time, even in our own communities. Businesses, schools, religious facilities and critical resources, such as electric and water suppliers, can take action to prepare for and respond to violent acts.


Reach out and develop relationships in your community, including emergency management and local law enforcement. Having these relationships established before an incident occurs can help speed up the reponse when something happens.

  • Invite local law enforcement and emergency management officials to tour your organization or business.
  • Connect with community security and preparedness organizations such as the FBI’s public-private partnership program, InfraGard and the Safeguard Iowa Partnership.
  • Communicate with your members or customers and let them know about the security measures you are taking to ensure a positive experience and to maintain public safety.


Take the time now to plan on how you will handle a security event should one occur. Learn from other events when forming your plans.

  • Be aware of current threats related to your geographic region or that impact your business sector.
  • Develop plans, including security, emergency response, emergency communications, and business continuity plans, while considering the protection of your employees, members, and customers, access control, closed-circuit television, signage, suspicious activity reporting, and parking security.
  • Develop evacuation and shelter-in-place plans, and ensure that multiple evacuation routes are clearly marked with appropriate signage, and that “rallying points” are available.
  • Engage local first responders (police, fire, medical) and emergency management in all of the above efforts to ensure your efforts are in coordination with theirs.


Provide your members and/or employees with training resources and exercise your plans often. The best-laid plans must be exercised to be effective.

  • Train employees and members on identifying and reporting suspicious activities, active-shooter scenarios, and what to do if they suspect an improvised explosive device (IED).
  • Ensure they understand security basics, emergency response, business continuity plans, and increased awareness of potential threats.
  • Exercise your emergency communications plan.
    Backpack with gun sits by window with people walking by outside


    If You See Something, Say Something is more than just a slogan. Call local law enforcement.

    • Post details on reporting suspicious activity and encourage employees, members, customers, tenants, and visitors to report suspicious behavior to management, security, law enforcement, or all of the above.
    • Get involved with the If You See Something, Say Something campaign.

    Additional resources

    Links to outside sources, and HSEMD’s critical asset and school safety information.