As we watched the events unfold over the July 4th weekend of yet another active shooter event in our communities, it brought back my desire to share my knowledge with all of you even more! I embarked upon my Master’s program in Counterterrorism and Homeland Security as a result of several incidents locally in which I participated: the Pacific Gas and Electric pipeline explosion in San Bruno, the Active Shooter event at Youtube, and the Asiana airplane crash at San Francisco Airport. These events led me to question what more I could have done, as well as my agency, to be prepared.
What I learned was the importance of situational awareness combined with mental preparation, not asking “if” there will be another but “when,” and how well prepared I am when it happens in the future while I am working. There are tools to help, including; ballistic shields, armored vehicles, drones, and more; however, being prepared begins before the event. My goal for this class on Active Assailants/Shooters is to have you thinking about what you can have ready before an incident. Additionally, we often teach to an incident, not through an incident, leaving an understanding of the need for aftercare for wellness (which directly impacts the retention of employees).
Now, I have a class that will help you before an incident occurs, which also leaves you prepared for the aftermath, not just to survive but to thrive. You are the most important person, and you must take care of yourself! I will help you understand what “self-care” looks like, including identifying what will work for you. I also will help you identify triggers in yourself in an effort to better understand how to work through potential trauma following an incident of this magnitude.
We have a new part of my class in which you will hear gunshots from different types of guns courtesy of SISU VR. Why do we do this? Part of being an incredible public safety employee is using all of your senses to understand what is occurring, whether getting a call, being in the field, or being with your family. I want to make sure you know as much as you can to help with your situational awareness. This new part will allow you to hear the difference in sounds to better identify what weapon is being used.