CHDS wins award for K-12 School Shooting Database

On June 29, 2019, the Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) was presented with an award from the Monterey County Business Council (MCBC). Each year the MCBC honors remarkable organizations for their contribution to the economic vitality of Monterey County. CHDS was recognized for research on the K-12 School Shooting Database (SSDB). President and CEO of MCBC, Kimbley Craig summarized, “Monterey County Business Council recognizes the significant research conducted by students at the Center for Homeland Defense and Security and awarded CHDS for the national attention that was brought to the Naval Postgraduate School with the compilation and presentation of the national School Shooting Database. The business community wanted to acknowledge and award NPS and CHDS for being at the forefront of collaboration on defense issues at the local, state, tribal, territorial and federal levels.”

The K-12 SSDB is conducted as part of the Advanced Thinking in Homeland Security (HSx) program at CHDS by alumni David Riedman and Desmond O’Neill. The database documents each instance a gun is brandished, is fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason, regardless of the number of victims, time of day, or day of week—dating back to 1970. All of the associated data is based on open-source information and third-party reporting, and is available to the public for viewing or downloading. Users can filter between subsets within the data (e.g., cause, number of victims, pre-planning, type of weapon used, demographics, or location). “The data collected is only valuable if it can reach law enforcement leaders, school administrators, policymakers, and researchers who can use it to make informed decisions about school safety,” Woodbury stated. Through the inclusion, rather than exclusion, of criteria that is cross-referenced, unfiltered, and agnostic, users can conduct a more detailed analysis of incidents within their area of interest to make better informed decisions and generate more accurate reports. “There was a lack of centralized, unbiased data on school shooting incidents. We created the K-12 School Shooting Database to address the void of data, and to share that data with other people and organizations that are researching the issue,” said Riedman.

In attendance to accept the award were Captain Richard Wiley, Commanding Officer of NSA Monterey; Glen Woodbury, CHDS Director; and Heather Issvoran, CHDS Director of Strategic Communications. Captain Wiley, who is also an alumnus of the CHDS Executive Leaders Program, noted the significance of the K-12 SSDB within the context of NPS, “The collaborative nature of CHDS is represented by the School Shooting Database. They bring together professionals from different facets of the homeland security enterprise and develop real-world solutions to problems within their agencies or communities. The Center is a tremendous asset to NSA Monterey, the Presidio of Monterey, and the Monterey Peninsula and County as a whole.”

Founded in 1995, the MCBC is a 501c6 organization comprised of a diverse group of members representing all industries and geographic areas of Monterey County. It remains the only countywide organization focused on business advocacy, economic development and workforce readiness. At the 24th annual Economic Vitality Awards ceremony, seven other local organizations were also honored in the following categories:

    • Agriculture: Indus Holdings, Inc.
    • Creative & Technology: Monterey Bay Drone, Automation & Robotics Technology Team
    • Health & Wellness: The Ohana Project by Montage Health
    • Higher Education & Research: Hartnell College’s Dr. Willard Lewallen
    • Hospitality & Tourism: Monterey Bay Aquarium
    • Sustainable Building & Design: City of Monterey’s Monterey Conference Center
    • President’s Award: Scheid Vineyards