The tragedy that occurred yesterday (Dec. 2, 2015) in San Bernardino was horrific, and hit very close to home with our corporate offices being located nearby and several clients a few blocks away from the shooting. It was a difficult reminder that these situations are real and can happen anywhere, and at any given time. For your staff’s safety and the safety of those you care about, read on to learn what to do  if ever faced with an active shooter.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, since 2006, the U.S. averages an active shooter event with four or more deaths every 2.9 months. Understanding that these incidents are on the rise; the sheriff’s department launched a training video Jan. 29, to help prepare you and your staff.

“Ever since the school shooting at Columbine, law enforcement nationwide has been training pretty steadily and strongly on active shooter response; how law enforcement responds to these things. Another sad fact of reality on these is that they are generally over more often than not before police get a chance to get there,” said Sergeant Harry Drucker, Video Production Unit Supervisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Training Bureau.

Knowing that active shooter scenarios are typically over before the police arrive, emphasizes the importance of having a plan in place for your business. For employees, staying aware of surroundings and watching the behavior of people is a great place to start.

According to Sgt. Drucker, if an individual is genuinely behaving suspiciously, people should never hesitate to dial 911. While the situation may be harmless, it is better to be safe and have the police handle the matter.

While conducting routine business operations, property managers and fellow employees may encounter irate applicants turned down for housing or disgruntled past employees with unknown violent tendencies. Facing this reality, the time to prepare for an active shooter situation is now, not when the incident is unfolding. As with a fire drill, having a plan in place and rehearsing what to do in the event of an active shooter, can save lives.

“On the website, activeshooter.lasd.org, on the bottom, under the video window are links to preparedness programs that the FBI has put out there. The Department of Homeland Security, even the Red Cross and [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] gives workplace plans and programs,” said Sgt. Drucker.

“We put those there for a purpose, also to acknowledge that there are multiple experts in different places; the sheriff’s department isn’t the only source of good information out there. We wanted to share what other people have done and have been successful with. That’s all on the site along with the video,” he continued.

Please visit activeshooter.lasd.org to learn more about how to protect yourself and your company in the event of an active shooter.

By: Laura Mowry

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