What had begun as a typical spring Tuesday had, by early afternoon, turned into a tragedy at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. That day, two Colorado teens killed 13 people and injured 24 more in a school shooting that would forever change the face of emergency planning and response.
The event left communities around the United States grappling with just how unprepared they were to respond to or even prevent such tragedies. Since then, it has shaped emergency response tactics for law enforcement but not without first exposing the vulnerabilities of schools and other public buildings in America.
In recent years, geospatial technology has led the way in solutions for emergency planning, prevention, response, and recovery. Yet public safety personnel need a view beyond a building exterior. What these violent events have shown, time and time again, is that a view inside a building is just as critical in a life or death scenario.