If someone walks into your business with a gun, are you ready?

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New Jersey security officials are urging individuals and businesses to develop an active response plan for shooters.

Laurie Doran, acting director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, said that while most of our attention has been focused on the COVID pandemic, it is also important to prepare for a possible incident involving an intruder. armed because these types of situations can and do happen.

She said there are currently no specific or credible threats, but all companies, regardless of size, should have a plan to deal with this type of emergency and give workers the opportunity to perform active shooting exercises.

“I think about it like you have a fire drill, remember all of us at school do it, it’s kind of the same thing, having drills to prepare for the worst case scenario”, said she declared.

She noted that it is also a good idea for businesses to consider installing a security alert system, “things like a panic button or a strobe light in a noisy area are ways to alert individuals of threats “.

Doran said if you find yourself in a location where an active shooter scenario suddenly begins to unfold “if possible running away should always be your first response, if that’s not possible hide if you can.” “.

She stressed that retaliation should be the last option “because not everyone is ready to fight an armed aggressor, it is the last resort”.

She pointed out that if someone goes to any place with a gun, chances are they are not thinking clearly.

“People who usually do this type of unhappy activity have things going on emotionally in their heads and it’s unpredictable,” she said.

The bottom line, Doran said, is that it is always important for all Jersey residents to maintain a degree of vigilance.

“You kind of have to keep an eye open, so that you are aware of what is going on around you, if there are people out there who may be doing some strange activity, or if you see other things that may be happening. -be that seem threatening, ”she said.

“If that doesn’t suit you, hairs standing on the back of your neck, you know most people have a feeling something is wrong, report it to a security guard or the police.”

Doran said that while the state’s education department conducts these types of exercises in schools, the NJOHSP can provide training suggestions to groups and businesses and help conduct safety assessments.

She also suggested that companies contact local law enforcement so that they can familiarize themselves with their physical arrangements, and also to find out what the law enforcement response plan is, so that everyone can work together.

She said the reality is that these types of unpredictable and dangerous incidents do happen, and it’s important that everyone be prepared, just in case.

Doran said a new public service announcement on threats from active shooters had been produced for school children. She also pointed out that you can always report any suspicious activity to 1-866-4-SAFE-NJ or visit the NJOHSP website for advice on active shooters.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at [email protected]

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