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Law enforcement working to prep civilians for active shooter situations

August 05, 2019 11:30 PM

On the state level, how is New York preparing residents and first responders for emergencies?

The commissioner of New York's Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services said of course preparedness is key in active shooter situations. However, it's really not just law enforcement - it has to be just everyday people who are aware because these situations are happening in churches, Walmarts and concert venues.

"Being aware of their surroundings is important to us," said Commissioner Patrick Murphy. "Then understanding the normal looks, normal activity versus somebody that would be more erratic behavior or wearing clothes they wouldn't normally wear that would be concealing."

As far as training for law enforcement and first responder the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency said they assist nearly 60,000 law enforcement and first responders every year through their state preparedness and training center and outreach into the community.

Murphy said their center allows them to do classroom training as well as set up scenarios such as a school or large open venue. However, he says they're also working on preparing civilians for active shooter situations and making sure they know when to call in law enforcement. They also trained more than 1,000 businesses last year on how to spot suspicious activity.

"What we do is go in with the team undercover and act suspicious or buy things in quantities that would not be otherwise purchased normally," explained Murphy. "Then to see if the business will repor that or the individual working in the business repor that activity back."

If community groups or local governments are interested in getting active shooter training, they can reach out to the New York State Division of Homeland Security or the governor's office.


Emily DeVito & WNYT Staff

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