Schenectady police teach people how to respond in active shooter situation

March 20, 2018 04:28 AM

SCHENECTADY - More than 80 people were at Proctors’ GE Theatre Monday night learning what to do in an active shooter situation.

Schenectady Police held the "civilian response to an active shooter" event. They said three minutes is the national average on how long it takes for authorities to respond in an active shooter situation. In those three minutes it’s the civilians responsibility to know what to do. Police said that’s why these training sessions are so important.

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“It was a good learning experience in case you’re ever in that situation,” said Schenectady resident Lenny Campbell.

After 17 people were killed by a gunman at a high school in Parkland, Florida last month, many people are wanting to educate themselves now more than ever.

“Recent events and over the last few months we've gotten a lot of requests for it and the idea behind it is to reach as many people as possible,” said Schenectady Police Sergeant Matthew Dearing.

Schenectady Police taught people Monday night to think of the phrase “A.D.D.” It stands for avoid, deny, and defend.

They said to avoid the shooter and run away and leave the scene if it’s possible. If not, then people should deny the shooter. They should try and hide in a room, turn off all the lights and lock the door.

Finally, people need to defend themselves. If they have to fight off the shooter, they should do it aggressively. That was something that resonated with some people.

“I’m not much for hiding and not doing something,” said Campbell.

But Sergeant Dearing said things won’t always turn out as planned in these situations.

"I think what might hit home for a lot of people is how your body might potentially react and not actually let them do some of these things," said Sergeant Dearing.

As the number of mass shootings continues to rise, authorities said people always need to be prepared.

"Obviously be aware of your surroundings,” added Sergeant Dearing. “That situational awareness, even just simply looking at different exits in a building that you walk into or a movie theater you walk into, those things can go a long way."

Schenectady Police will be holding another session Sunday, March 25 from 3 to 5 p.m. at Proctors’ Main Stage.


Emily De Vito

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