Workplace shootings are becoming so common that the NYPD is now providing training on how workers caught in such a situation should respond. The latest session was held for members of the media. NY1’s Dean Meminger filed this report.
The NYPD showed a training video to members of the media to dramatize what could happen if a gunman roams the workplace. It was part of a training session in response to the growing number of mass shootings, which now occur about once every three and a half weeks in America.
"Seventy percent of that happened in the workplace. Sixty percent of them are over before the police get there. And that's that 4 to 9 minute window,” said Deputy Commissioner of Counterterrorism and Intelligence John Miller.
The NYPD regularly holds seminars like the one they held Thursday, but the training session at police headquarters was scheduled for the media after a reporter and cameraman in Roanoke, Virginia were shot dead last week by a former colleague on live television.
Officers say it could happen anywhere, to anyone, but when police respond—remember they are in charge of your safety.
"Follow the instructions of the officers as they arrive. You are not reporters now in this situation. Don't start asking them questions. Let them get in there, you get out. If they tell you go a certain way, go a certain way. If they tell you get down on the ground, get down on the ground,” Det. Kathleen Thompson told the trainees.
According to the NYPD, the rule of thumb is ABC: “Avoid,” “Barricade,” and if all else fails, “Confront.”
That means in an active shooting, the first priority is avoiding the gunman. Next, try to barricade the person from where you are. Only as a last resort should you confront and fight.
The NYPD has stepped up training for patrol officers on mass shooting scenarios. Those officers often arrive before the specialized teams do.
"We are pushing a rescue, what's called a rescue task force concept which is pairing officers up with EMS and fire," said Det. Raymond McPartland.
"Officers say it may be scary to think about but every business and family should conduct drills on how to survive an active shooting situation.
For more information on how to protect yourself, go to NYPDshield.org.