CCSO opens active shooter preparedness course to the public
CHARLOTTE COUNTY - June is National Safety Month; a vital topic to discuss this year is what to do in an active shooter scenario.
It sounds unimaginable, until it happens to you. From a concert in Las Vegas to a school in Parkland, Florida, to a municipal building in Virginia Beach; no time or place is off limits for an active shooter situation.
Deputy Mark Bala, A training officer for the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office said, "The issue here in the United States and all over the world, we have active killers and people, good people who need to have some response options." Deputy Bala said there's no better time to prepare than now.
Tuesday, CCSO hosted their first public active shooter preparedness class. He said, "The Sheriff's Office decided that we would have a public type of presentation as opposed to a specific church or business, which is what I've been doing in the past."
The free course, first tough the importance of situational awareness. "You need to have plans in your mind now on how you might act and make it more of a lifestyle," he said.
Betsy ford, a Charlotte County School District employee called it a scary new reality. She said, "We practice all the time in the school and it really upsets the kids. This is the last thing that I would have ever anticipated having to do when I was a child. All of the doors were open, windows were open. People could come out and go. Our worst thing was trying to sneak out because they always caught us."
Ford attended the course with her husband to learn how to react outside of the classroom. She said, "If I could not only save myself and obviously save those around me. If I could learn how to avoid or divert them, I think I've learned something."
Deputy Bala said, "They're out there. They're seeing things going on, they're paying attention more, and that's going to be good for everyone."