Rick C. Mathews, Director
National Center for Security & Preparedness
423 State Street
Albany, NY 12203
5900 Airport Road
Oriskany, NY 13424
20 February, 2012
In the wake of active shooter incidents in schools across the United States in recent years, the National Center for Security & Preparedness (NSCP), in partnership with the NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services (DHSES), State Preparedness Training Center (SPTC), other state agencies, is responding with a training workshop that provides educators, school staff, and administrators with essential knowledge and awareness to appropriately react and respond to an active shooter in school facilities.
First piloted in a delivery to the Utica City School District, the School Violence: Active Shooter Incident Awareness workshop has been delivered to more than half a dozen school districts across New York state, as well as Union College in Schenectady. To date, some 1200 educators, staff, administrators, and local emergency responders have participated in the program.
The workshop is a two-hour discussion-based training led by Subject Matter Expert (SME) instructors from the NCSP and SPTC and driven by participant input. SME instructors introduce participants to the subject of active shooter incidents through a discussion of other forms of school violence and case studies of some well-known incidents in the United States that provided lessons for the future. The primary objective of the course is providing educators, administrators, and school staff with an overview of the law enforcement response to an active shooter response. The NCSP and SPTC believe it is important that the participants understand what to expect and how to react in the event that they are ever involved in an active shooter incident on campus. Towards the end of the workshop, participants have the opportunity to pose questions to the SME instructors and local law enforcement regarding the topics covered.
While School Violence: Active Shooter Incident Awareness focuses on responding to an active shooter in a school, there is also an hour-long optional training module on threat assessment. This module provides educators, administrators, and school staff with the tools to identify a potential active shooter. It is built on best practices developed by the United States Secret Service and United States Department of Education in their 2002 publication Threat Assessment in Schools.
After the first round of successful deliveries, the NCSP and SPTC are ramping up for increased interest in the training program. Another 10 deliveries (ranging from 25-300 participants) are planned across the state this spring, with more school districts and colleges expected to come on board. Future deliveries will look to incorporate local law enforcement, fire, and EMS into the training.