Discover the Critical Difference

Tampa Bay Area:

13777 Belcher Rd.
South Largo, FL 33771
Tel. (727) 461-9417

Orlando Tri-County Area:

6925 Lake Ellenor Drive, Suite 102B
Orlando, FL 32809
Tel. (407) 420-7945


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24/7 Customer Support


Physical Security and the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program®
An analytic approach for evaluation and design of physical security.

The CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program was peer reviewed by John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a model for national best practices in May 2014.

CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program

CIS uses an analytic approach to evaluation and design of physical security based on the Estimate of Adversary Sequence Interruption (EASI) model developed by Sandia National Laboratories. The key principles behind the EASI model are the integrated function of three major system elements: Detection, Delay, and Response.

In an effective Physical Protection System (PPS), detection of the threat occurs early and a response force is deployed reliably and quickly. Delay elements then slow the adversary down long enough for the response force to intercept. The system is effective if the total assessment and response time (from the time of detection and notification) is less than the Adversary Task Time (time it takes to the adversary to breach delay elements and access protected assets)!

If these three elements (Detection, Delay, and Response) are deficient or out of sync, the system will fail. In virtually every school attack perpetrated by an outsider (Sandy Hook, West Nickel Mines, Platte River Canyon, etc.), there was a major failure in one or more of the three key functional areas. As of present, very few schools in the United States have a physical security program that truly meets the criteria for performance effectiveness.

Click here to view a series of slides analyzing PPS performance in relation to previous school shootings.

As part of the initial assessment, the CIS planning team evaluates the design of physical security and identifies key areas for improvement. Accomplishing the performance-based goal usually requires a combination of approaches to increase Delay and reduce Response time.

Common examples of improvement measures include recommendation of cost-effective barrier improvements (window film on windows, quality door locks, etc.) to increase delay time, enhanced lockdown procedures (also a Delay measure), improved communications systems and implementing an on-site response force (CIS School Protection Officers) that is selected and trained for the mission of intercepting intruders.

If schools don’t have the financial resources to initially implement all of CIS’ suggestions, the planning team aids in prioritizing improvements by using a cost-benefit approach

On-Site Response: A Key Element of Effective Physical Security

Fact: In most active shooter incidents in the United States, effective response time by police averages between 10-14 minutes. In most previous mass violence incidents in schools, the perpetrator entered the school and started victimizing long before law enforcement arrived on-site.

Even with improved barriers and lockdown procedures, it is usually impossible (and financially impractical) for schools to create 10+ minutes of delay time for classrooms. The only way to guarantee effective system performance is with an on-site response force tactically capable of neutralizing an armed threat.

For this reason, all CIS School Protection Officers are required to meet the following requirements:

  • Physically-fit (essential for the mission of intrusion response)
  • Qualify annually with a 90% or better handgun score
  • Successfully complete annual Active Shooter Response tactical training
  • Practice timed response during periodic school drills

For more information about the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program and optional solutions for protecting schools, please contact:

Craig Gundry, CPS, CHS-III
Vice President of Special Projects

CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program Links:

The CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program
(Main Page)

Risk Management and School Security

Physical Security and the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program

CIS School Protection Officers

School Protection Officer Training

CCBPI and the Guardian SafeSchool Program (School Culture & Climate)

CIS Emergency Communications for Schools

CIS Student Threat Assessment and Management System (C-STAMS)

CIS SPO Peer Review Report, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2014 (PDF)

Recommendation for the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program, Shorecrest Preparatory School (PDF)

Download the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program brochure (PDF)



The training you are providing to the security personnel at Critical Intervention Services (CIS), military personnel and law enforcement professionals is unmatched by civilian readiness training for the war on terror.
– U.S. Special Operations Command

School Protection

...The quality of the SPOs' work in the Guardian Program at Shorecrest has made our school the envy of any administrator that has come to observe the program...I give my highest recommendation to the Guardian SafeSchool Program.
– Shorecrest Preparatory School

Community Solutions

CIS officers not only come in and assist us, but they're committed to the community. I never encounted that before.
– Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Tampa Bay Area: 13777 Belcher Road South, Largo, FL 33771 USA
Tel. (727) 461-9417 Toll-free: (800) 247-6055 Hillsborough: (813) 910-4247 Fax (727) 449-1269

Orlando Tri-County Area: 6925 Lake Ellenor Drive, Suite 102B, Orlando, FL 32809 USA
Tel. (407) 420-7945

The staff of CIS is dedicated to providing each client with the finest quality of protective services available.

Our commitment and dedication to professional, ethical, and protocol conscious service is our trademark.

Preserving, projecting, and protecting our clients’ image and interests is our business.

Copyright © 2019 Critical Intervention Services, Inc. ® Florida “A” License: A9900261 • Florida “B” License: B9200107