Options Based Security

What is an “Options Based” emergency response?


Options Based Security LLC was founded by Dr. Thomas Shea DSC, CPP, (of Verry-Shea, LLC) as a result of combined professional experience as a Director of Security for a large school district, prior police commander and father. Options Based Security LLC offers "real world," pragmatic and practical emergency management training and response protocol, depending on the situation. An options based emergency response is recommended by the US Department of Education, US Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Commission Report. This innovative training was also specifically created for age-appropriate and specific populations with an objective to not scare children, the disabled or the elderly. All training provided is personalized for your organization, church or school, with stakeholder involvement being prominent in the development of security plans.

Studies that Support an Options Based Response Protocol to Active Shooter Events:



Dr. Thomas Shea, DSc, CPP

  • Doctorate in Civil Security Leadership, Management and Policy

  • Certified Protection Professional (CPP)-ASIS

  • Certified School Safety Specialist-NJDOE

  • Director of Safety and Security

  • Experienced Security Consultant

  • Veteran Police Commander

  • Experienced Security Consultant


Tom recently completed a twenty-year career in law enforcement in 2017, where he worked in many different facets of policing, including, but not limited to: investigations, fugitives, narcotics, street crime, internal affairs and the county SWAT team, among many others. Tom has command experience in four different operational units and participated in a myriad of crisis situations throughout his police career. Tom is a Licensed Private Detective and a Certificated Protection Professional (CPP) through ASIS, considered to be the gold standard of security and investigative certifications. Currently, Tom is employed as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Security and a Director of Security for a large school district in Northern NJ. Tom is also a private security consultant, providing expert risk and vulnerability analyses and security assessments for various organizations. Tom created innovative security policy,regulations and training protocol to better prepare school, church or corporate staff to be more resilient from the unfortunate realities of active shooter events.

Tom earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Rutgers University, his Master of Public Administration degree from Seton Hall University, and his doctoral degree in Civil Security Leadership Management and Policy from New Jersey City University. During his police career, Tom has been the recipient of numerous commendations. Lastly, Tom is a United States Marine Corps veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm.



Options Based Security LLC offers the following services to schools churches and private organizations:

Options Based Emergency Response Training

In simple terms, “options based” means a combination of possible actions depending on the emergency situation. There are no “cookie cutter” responses to any emergency; instead, there should be a trained plan of any possible scenario and the ability to change immediately if needed.

Policy and Regulation Formation/ Review

Dr. Shea has reviewed and written thousands of emergency management policy and regulations and has the ability to review yours to 1) determine whether the purpose and objective of the policy is still being met; 2) determine if any modifications are required to improve the efficacy or clarity of the policy and procedures; and 3) to ensure that pertinent training and monitoring of the policy is occurring.

Emergency Mass Notification Integration

Dr. Shea partners with emergency mass notification vendors to offer mobile, app based immediate mass notification necessary to make those critical and informed decisions during a crisis. Receiving information in “real time” during an emergency increases resiliency and mitigates tragedy.

School Safety Specialist Training (NJ K-12 Schools)

Amendments to NJ state statute C.18A17-43.3 allows superintendents to designate a “school administrator, or a school employee with expertise in school safety and security, as a school safety specialist for the district.” The problem is that many don’t have an emergency management background or know where to begin when constructing a security framework for their districts. Dr. Shea offers personalized training for school safety specialists to get them adapted to this considerable responsibility.


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