Active shooter campaign puts people on alert

Active Shooter TraingingAmerican Press composite

OBERLIN — Ever wonder what you would do if you found yourself somewhere with an active shooter on the loose?

The Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office wants to arm residents and businesses with training and tips they, their employees and customers need to know to respond to an active shooter incident.

“As sheriff, I take the safety of everyone in this community and parish very serious, I pray everyday that we never experience the tragedy of an active shooter event,” Sheriff Doug Hebert III said. “It seems it is happening across the nation, and now sadly even closer to home. We need to be prepared.”

Based on a similar program in Calcasieu Parish, the goal of the Together We Can campaign, is to teach residents and businesses how to be prepared and respond if they find themselves in an active shooter situation.

“Active shooters are sudden, unpredictable and unexpected,” Hebert said. “When it occurs it may take you a moment, or several moments, to realize what is even happening. You must have a plan if you are to survive.”

During the 45-minute power point presentation, sheriff’s deputies teach participants how they should react if an active shooter event happens by using the run, hide and fight method.

“The first thing we ask is that if they can run, that they safely do so and run away as far as possible,” Hebert said. “If you can’t run, then find a safe place to hide and as a last resource fight.”

Additional tips include finding common objects such as chairs, glass, or even a fax machine that can be used as a weapon to defend yourself and slow down the threat. Other tips include silencing cell phones, locking or blocking doors, turning off lights and calling for help as soon as possible.

“Our goal is to give people a fighting chance in case something does happen,” Hebert said. “We hope we never have an active shooter incident, but if you can prepare yourself and have a plan you have a greater chance of surviving.”

Having a plan and utilizing rapid-thinking skills are crucial to any emergency or active shooter incident, he said.

“When something is happening is not the time to think of things because the stress is higher and the flight response will be in high gear,” he said.

Anyone interested in scheduling a training can contact Pam Pender at the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office at 639-3083 or email twc@allenparishso.com.

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