POLICE Magazine

SEP 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1022864

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Page 129 of 136

Community Organizations L ocal law enforcement leaders are always on the speaking circuit within their communities; it's part of the job. e or- ganizations that we speak to are usually service-oriented or philanthropic, business, fraternal, veteran, or religious groups. Many of these groups have community safety initiatives, which is a great connection between your department's mission and their missions. When presenting before these groups, you will find the members often have connections to even more organizations. I have been amazed through the years that one presentation can often open doors into many other organizations. Houses of Worship D ue to the diversity of faiths within our country, it can be dif- ficult to reach out to all of your houses of worship. Most de- partment leaders or emergency managers will have some listed contacts for larger houses of worship that are used for emergency sheltering. But it can be difficult to contact smaller houses of wor- ship. Not all have a traditional telephone or are on social media. e best starting point is to contact your local ecumenical association or any organization where your local religious lead- ers of all faiths gather together. If you are invited to meet with them, this will be a great connection. Most of the time they wish to hear about current issues so that they can assist the community and law enforcement. Providing for the homeless, helping people with addictions, and helping people affected by economic problems or disasters are their mainstays. But you have to talk to them about attacks on houses of worship, includ- ing active shooters. Houses of worship today are the most vulnerable of all of the community's assets. And sadly, today's crime prevention pre- sentation for houses of worship must go far beyond locking the building and securing any valuables. I strongly recommend an enhanced crime prevention strategy for houses of worship that includes safety team training and active shooter response training. Getting Started I f your department does not have an active shooter presenta- tion for the masses, invest the time of your training staff and offer presentations to your community. Your community will embrace it and be grateful. Until then, if you can identify a trusted trainer with a solid product, seek them out. Personally, I have performed many presentations within my region through our local task force. ere are a number of programs that can help you produce a quality active shooter training program. Here's a quick look at some of them. "RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. Surviving an Active Shooter Event" is a video from the Department of Homeland Security. It's on You- Tube in English and Spanish, and with subtitles. Although this is a mere start of what a good presentation should be, it pro- vides a basic foundation on what to do should an active shooter attack. It also promotes discussion and questions, so be pre- pared to moderate. ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) offers law enforcement training on its Civilian Re- sponse to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) program. Visit the ALERRT Website (https://alerrt.org) to review the available training. And there are many more active shooter response programs and qualified trainers. A web search will give you a list to start with. Research them as to what is more compatible with your department's needs and budget. Also, I always recommend that you ask for past customers' names so that you can perform your own due diligence in selecting a vendor or program. In closing, engaging your community is a continual, evolv- ing process that requires sweat equity. It is difficult for the new chief or sheriff, especially if they are new to the area. ese ideas should help assist you in gaining better connectivity with your customer base and help you educate them on what to do in case of an active shooter event. n SPECIAL REPORT H ACTIVE SHOOTER RESPONSE 13 William L. "Bill" Harvey is the chief of the Ephrata (PA) Police Department. He retired from the Savannah (GA) Police De- partment where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience work- ing with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.

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