Police hold active-shooter training for community members

Harrisburg

Derry Township police say it’s important to be informed about how to react to an active shooter to increase your chances of staying safe.

From using your belt to get ahold of a doorknob to hiding behind concrete, experts taught people a variety strategies to survive.

“Get that alert out to people,” said Sgt. Tony Clements. “Don’t use code words. Keep it plain English.”

Clements taught the course in Lower Swatara Township on Thursday. 

“The workplace and business are two of the places active shooters target,” said Clements.

“They’re happening more and more frequently,” said Joe Costa, who lives in Elizabethtown. “It can be anywhere.”

State Rep. Tom Mehaffie organized the training so that everyone knows how to react if the unthinkable happens.

“In this climate today, unfortunately, I think things are the way they are, and I think this is a great way in handling in it, as far as making people aware of what to do and how to do things,” said Mehaffie.

“There’s a lot of controversy over stuff that’s going on right now, and something needs to be done,” said Jordan Spagnolo, a high schooler from Elizabethtown.

Clements taught the run, hide, fight strategy, which is used at schools around the country.

“If you can get out of the building, do it,” said Clements.

The sergeant says if you can’t leave, stack as much as you possibly can to block a door. This can delay a shooter from getting access to you.

If you have no other choice, Clements says to fight back.

“If he does get into the room, he gets passed your barricade and you have no other choice, then defend yourself,” he said.

Police say that businesses should have lockdown and evacuation plans set in place, and employees should be sure to know them. 

Clements also showed the group tools that could make a difference when seconds count, like a $50 emergency lockdown kit that acts like an extra lock at the bottom of a door. 

Clements gives about five of these presentations to different schools, businesses, and churches each month.

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