Former Navy SEAL Develops ‘DEFEND’ to Keep Schools Safe

Credit: Able Shepherd/Facebook

Jimmy Graham is using his experience as a Navy SEAL and his involvement with the CIA’s Global Response Staff to help make America’s schools safe. Graham is the founder and CEO of Able Shephard, an elite active shooter training program based in Colorado. According to CBN News, Graham wants to make sure all school staff who may need to respond to such a situation know what to do in case of an emergency. 

Questioning why there was an efficient plan to defend diplomats overseas, Graham knew that our children could also be defended using a similar model. The principle he says is simple, “to get them, you have to go through me.” 


Called DEFEND, an acronym that stands for Defense, Evacuate, Fortify, Emergency Medical Aid, Notify Others, and Dial 911, Graham’s program provides reality-based training. Graham stresses the importance of having a security plan, but also the responsibility of school leaders to ensure they are maintaining the “proper environment.” 

Despite measures taken by some schools across the country to invest in security technologies, Graham said that such technology may not prevent another attack, focusing on the fact that much responsibility falls on people. “When people are the problem, people are always going to be the solution,” he said, adding that it is having people around who know what to do in an emergency that saves lives. 


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