On Drift Net's Experts
Published on December 15, 2021
Providing schools with effective security isn’t as simple as constructing thicker walls, rather it involves an exhaustive analysis of every aspect of a school’s vulnerabilities, along with having a firm understanding of how to best prevent and respond - all in an effort to mitigate loss of life. Because of this, we at Drift Net Securities sourced talent who not only have a mastery of emergency planning and response, but also have experience working with schools, their students and their communities. Each one of our experts provide a skill set unique to their extensive experience, but all of them are motivated by the same idea: make schools safe so learning can thrive.
James “Jimmy” Dunleavy
After a 25-year tenure with the Pennsylvania State Troopers, James “Jimmy” Dunleavy joined the Drift Net team as our Critical Incident Expert. His valuable insights regarding emergency response are credited to an extensive career in law enforcement, starting as a patrol trooper and retiring as a Lieutenant and Division Director, where he saw the entire spectrum of safety within school communities. While his career is admirable, it certainly took patience, many round-the-clock nights and no shortage of hard work.
Starting a career with the State Troopers is no small feat either, acceptance requires taking a formidable exam just to be considered. “I think when I took the test, 22,000 people took it, 11,000 passed and they took 230...to get in was pretty tough,” Jimmy recalls. For a decade he was a trooper in the Bureau of Patrol, where he was involved with countless traffic and criminal investigations. As he grew in law enforcement he found it useful to source the most effective and well-respected supervisors and emulate how they conduct themselves. When it came time for promotional interviews, Jimmy already internalized the qualities that his superiors sought out, making him a prime candidate for taking on larger responsibilities. His ambition and acumen were recognized by the State Police Commissioner and he was chosen to be the Director of the Bureau Of Patrol.
Jimmy would retire from the Pennsylvania State Troopers, but his focus on justice and safety would continue. He would join the Scranton, Pennsylvania-based law firm Scartelli Olszewski as a litigation consultant, using his experience with vehicle investigations and the litigation process to provide the firm with valuable insight. Although being a litigation consultant is an engaging job for a man of his experience, Jimmy missed the direct contact he had with communities as a state trooper. He agreed to take a position at Drift Net Securities in 2021 as a Critical Incident Expert. While he utilizes his experience as a patrol trooper at his current position as a litigation consultant, he attributes his time spent as a director and administrator as being what gives him an edge at Drift Net; Jimmy was an administrator during decades of technological advancement - from typewriters to computers to tablets, he’s seen the administrative process in every form. Fortunately for us, adapting emergency preparedness into its most competent technological form is what we strive to do at Drift Net.
Even though he still stays busy with two professional positions, leaving law enforcement has provided him with much more time to spend with his wife and four kids - the eldest, attending Penn State as a sophomore. He is still very involved in the discussion about a more unified approach towards safety and security regulations for school districts:
“Now that I’m working with Drift Net, I can see that there’s no accountability for what happens within schools, even within the same school district. It’s almost as if each building has a different way that they’re approaching school safety. There’s very little direction, especially if you have an administration that doesn’t have the “school safety” mindset...I feel that there needs to be a guideline, or a mandate where all schools have to follow a minimum requirement.”
Mason Woodlridge is Drift Net Securities’ Field Operation Specialist and a trusted source of emergency planning solutions on the ground-level. Through circumstance, tragedy and personal conviction, Mason would find himself at the precipice of the first iterations of “safe school” legislation, which opened his eyes to the stagnancies that exist in the lawmaking process and the obstacles that will need to be overcome in the pursuit of competent school safety nationwide.
Mason studied Comparative World Religions and Philosophy at Lynchburg University in Virginia. After his studies he started working in the Arab Gulf, marketing high-rise fire protection to various companies in the region. This would be his first foray into the world of safety, as well as his introduction to remote threat detection systems, which was used in the platform he was marketing to his clients.
In December 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting caught worldwide attention. Where most school shootings that permeated the 2000s largely targeted high-school age students, the Sandy Hook shooting took the lives of 20 children aged six or seven years, and more. The tragic loss of such a young life gave pause to Mason, who started to realize that this incident could have been avoided if the school had a more holistic security system. At the time, he was representing a company whose platform touted remote intruder detection, tracking and response - features that were still unprecedented in the U.S. Within 90 days of the Sandy Hook tragedy, the tech that Mason was marketing caught the attention of the Indiana Sheriff’s Association and they asked Mason to introduce the system to their organization. While this was meant to be tangential to his work, this would ultimately direct the course of his focus.
Mason found himself at the precipice of burgeoning school safety and security technology in the U.S. His skill-set and experience met an opportune time where he could actually be involved in meaningful change - starting with law enforcement in Indiana. This led to Mason being involved in creating “The Safest School in America” in union with The Indiana Sheriff’s Association, eventually passing legislation that would require a minimum standard of safety for constructing new K-12 schools within Indiana. He would find that bureaucracy and red tape can easily neuter a bill before it goes into practice, even one as compelling as “safe schools.” The proximity of a number of influential, established security companies put pressure on the bill, resulting in its inability to succeed. “You know, you get these multi-billion dollar companies who aren't about innovation, they're about stagnation,” Mason recalls.
In 2016, alongside his partner and fellow school safety advocate, Jessica Cirulli, Mason co-founded Our Kids Deserve It (OKDi), an organization that provided support for schools by helping facilitate their emergency planning. Here, he would gather a greater understanding of the strategy that goes into a schools emergency planning, preparedness and response. This also allowed him to build relationships with school administrators and leaders, which would become the essence of his position at Drift Net Securities. In February, 2021, Mason joined Drift Net as our Field Operations Specialist, where he travels across the country relaying trainings to staff and facilitating the physical security assessment process.
We don’t have anyone as integral to the daily affairs at Drift Net Securities as Jessica Cirulli. As our Director of Solutions Enablement, Jessica manages to build meaningful relationships with school district superintendents and administrators in an effort to make sure that every school under our safekeeping has a real, proactive person that can help them with their emergency planning. Not only is Cirulli an advocate for any school that has insufficient emergency planning, but she is a continual resource for every department at Drift Net.
Jessica attended Notre Dame College in Cleveland, Ohio on a volleyball scholarship, where she was studying to be a reconstructive plastic surgeon, as she had always had a softness for children born with facial deformities. While she found the medical courses to be incredibly taxing, the ancillary marketing courses she was taking caught her attention. This would lead her to work as a manager of a salon and spa where she would receive ample marketing exposure and learn that she had a knack for people operations.
After Jessica was able to learn what marketing for a small business entailed, she left to start her own boutique marketing business. She was able to make a lot of contacts through this venture, one of them being Mason, who at the time was working on launching “The Safest School in America,” an initiative to fortify a school in Indiana with the most sophisticated security system available at that time. Jessica would take part in this endeavor by handling the marketing and PR for the launch, which would be her foray into the world of school safety and security.
This position required Jessica to become knowledgeable about every facet of emergency preparedness, requiring her to familiarize herself with every state’s school safety requirements, as well as federal “best-practice” guidelines. However, she felt that the nature of this business valued the product they were selling over the schools actually having the framework for effective emergency preparedness; oftentimes, schools simply didn’t have the budget for it. She knew that schools needed more intimate direction to help facilitate their emergency planning, whether they are able to afford it or not. Jessica and Mason decided to pursue this lofty undertaking, so they took a giant leap and started Our Kids Deserve It (OKDi), a non-profit organization that facilitated emergency planning for schools, although they wouldn’t stop there -
“So anything and everything a school needed in regards to safety, we helped facilitate. We worked for ourselves, so we were able to do whatever we felt was necessary. If they needed help with a grant, we would help them with the grant. If they needed help with training, we provided training.”
As Jessica was constantly researching school emergencies and the nature of school-shootings, she’d see one constantly repeated in the bylines: Dr. Peter Langman. She started referring to his research and began reading everything Dr. Langman posted on his website in an effort to better understand the psychology behind why some young people perpetuate mass violence against their school. Coincidentally, Jessica found that she lived close to Dr. Langman, so she reached out to him and he agreed to meet for a talk, which would be the beginning of a fruitful correspondence. Now that Jessica had a line to Dr. Langman, her work became even more meaningful. From her discussions with Dr. Langman she realized that to make progress in the world of school safety not only requires one to be knowledgeable, resourceful and tenacious; one truly has to be a selfless person. Jessica would model her career after this principle.
Fittingly, Dr. Langman would introduce Jessica to the founders of Drift Net, who would eventually hire her as our Director of Solutions Enablement. Here, she is given the opportunity to reach out and help facilitate the emergency planning of schools at a national level, along with the benefits of Drift Net technology. Knowing that she gets to work at the same company as one of her heroes and a team of people that share the same convictions as herself gives Jessica a profuse sense of purpose and determination. “Because one of the major things that I've learned this entire time is that it takes a team of people. It truly does. You can never accomplish anything in this industry by yourself.” However, if there was only one person involved in the pursuit of safety schools through effective emergency planning, that person would more than likely be Jessica.
Dr. Peter Langman
Dr. Peter Langman has made it his life’s work to research and understand hostile behaviors in children and adolescents, more specifically, the pathology behind why these young people commit mass violence at schools. His research has resulted in his writing 3 books on the matter, the most recent being Warning Signs: Identifying School Shooters Before They Strike (2021). Dr. Langman has been interviewed countless times by global news networks, travels the country performing trainings for school districts and has presented research to both the FBI and US Secret Service. It really is no stretch to say that there is no person more equipped to speak on the matter of “school shooters” than Dr. Langman.
In 1999, Dr. Langman was working towards his Ph.D. at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, interning as a counselor at a psychiatric hospital when the tragic events at Columbine High School sent ripples across the country. Ten days after the incident, on April 30, a 16-year-old boy was admitted to the hospital because he was exhibiting disturbing behaviors, such as writing threatening posts online and being found in possession of a “hit-list.” Dr. Langman found the warning signs and motivations of the subject to be highly compelling and their proximity in time to Columbine to be profound. After his internship at the hospital, Dr. Langman would be hired and spend the next 12 years being exposed to potential perpetrators of mass violence and trying to understand their complex framework.
While Dr. Langman supported his family by opening a clinical psychology practice, he found his research into the minds of potential mass school-violence perpetrators to be more than just a project, it was a moral imperative - one that took precedence over a salary. Dr. Langman did over a decade of research at his own expense. There was nothing to gain through this endeavor, other than the affirmation that he was one of the few who heard the call to act, back before it became a global conversation. The research that Dr. Langman accrued during this time would be matriculated through the psychological community, to the highest authorities of national security, eventually being cited in congressional testimony on Capitol Hill.
It wasn’t until 2006, when Kimveer Gill killed one student and injured 19 others when he fired upon students at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, that he knew a more outspoken stance was necessary. He began writing his first book: Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters, which was published in 2009 and would be named an Outstanding Academic Title of 2009 by the American Library Association.
Dr. Langman takes a notoriously hard-line approach to presenting his research, being careful to avoid any assumptions or generalizations about perpetrators of mass violence, as well as remaining steadfast to what can be proven by research. “I don’t think it’s counterproductive to talk about the commonalities or patterns, [but] I think we have to be careful about it lapsing into a profile,” Dr. Langman says. “...Saying they’re psychopathic, psychotic or whatever is a ‘trend’ - finding patterns in motives...these are patterns that we can talk about but we have to be careful to emphasize that it’s not a profile.” Dr. Langman’s professional integrity affords his research a certain impartiality that elevates it to a standard that agencies, such as the FBI, can utilize. In fact, Dr. Langman has spoken on preventing mass violence in schools at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia and has also been hired by the U.S. Secret Service to participate in a number of trainings and an in-depth study on threat assessment.
Although Dr. Langman has been interviewed over 500 times by countless global news networks and has received accommodations from many organizations, we at Drift Net Securities are fortunate enough to know him for the man he is beyond the professional realm - one that is kind, dedicated and wholly committed to making schools safer for students. The national burden of mass violence taking place in our schools is bigger than any one person, and it will require a few people the entirety of their being to resolve. While we need more people like Dr. Langman to see this through, the body of his work will be foundational in the actual sparing of young lives when “school shootings” becomes nothing more than an affliction of antiquity.