By: Monica Parra
Los Angeles Harbor College held its first ever “Active Shooter Training” where 56 faculty and staff members attended to receive information on how to prevent any injuries and fatalities in case of a mass shooting. There is no telling when or why an active shooter would be on campus, but with all of the devastating fatal shootings in previous schools, it is best to plan for the unexpected inside and outside of the classroom. An active shooter workshop was held district wide at all community college campuses and on Sept. 24, 2019 LAHC gathered in the student union multi-purpose room for a detailed discussion.
The training was a collection of news clips from previous shootings, powerpoint slides, and several examples of drills presented by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. There were a lot of important methods to consider depending on the setting. When inside of a classroom or a building, the methods were to find cover, conceal yourself, and plan an exit route. Since there weren’t any students that attended the workshop, the Sheriffs told professors to discuss with each of their classes what they would do in an active shooter emergency. To take cover inside buildings means to stay away from any glass windows or doors, concealment would be to lock doors if possible, place big and heavy objects in front of the door, and to plan an exit route that is quickest to get to safety after there is an “all-clear” given by the school or police authorities.
There was a big emphasis on avoiding being an “easy target.” It’s a sensitive matter, but as an individual if you keep this in mind during an emergency you can keep yourself safe and be an example for others to be safe. If an active shooter decides to attack in an open setting, the best and most effective way to not make yourself an easy target is to run, hit the dirt, then continue to run in a zig-zag motion.
For unknown instances of active shooting, the mentality one should not have is that it won’t happen to them. According to activeshooter.lasd.org, an active shooting lasts between 10-15 minutes. It is hard to determine if it’s safer to be inside or outside in an active shooter situation, but it is necessary to call 911 and give specific details on your location, location of attacker, number of attackers, how many weapons and the type of weapons the attacker has. Having the sheriff’s office phone number for LAHC on speed dial would be the smartest to have since they should be the quickest to respond to emergencies. Sheriff’s office: (310) 233-4600.