Rick C. Mathews, Director
Lori Percle, Assistant Director
August 7, 2013
On July 15, 2013, the National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP), in partnership with the NYS Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services (NYSDHSES), delivered the Workplace Violence: Active Shooter Incident Awareness workshop at the Southampton Town Hall in Southampton, NY. Throughout the workshop instructors facilitated discussion among employees about best practices in reacting to an active shooter in the workplace.
As recent tragedies such as the Aurora Movie Theater shooting and Newtown School shootings demonstrate, active shooter incidents are a very real and prevalent threat in today's society. Active shooter incidents have occurred in the workplace, schools, and places of worship. Regardless of location, these incidents are usually over before law enforcement arrives. Clearly, this necessitates that those at the scene have the knowledge and tools to keep themselves safe.
Many of the lessons learned evolved from school threat assessments originating after the Columbine Shooting in 1999. Agencies such as the US Secret Service and the US Department of health collaborated in studying targeted violence in schools and what measures to take to remain safe. The Workplace Violence workshop adapts these strategies for immediate response to an active shooter in the workplace, with a primary focus on employee safety.
Rick Mathews, the Director of the NCSP, led the morning discussion about workplace violence policies and – specifically – what steps those in town management can take to educate and prepare their employees about potential workplace violence. George Marshall, a retired New York State Trooper and current Director of Campus Safety at Southern Vermont College, presented in the afternoon session. Employees discussed historical examples of active shooter incidents and other potential threats in the workplace, as well as appropriate actions they could take in such situations. The Workplace Violence workshop draws on the lessons learned from school safety initiatives and fosters awareness and preparation for employees regarding active shooters and potential threats in the workplace.