By Janet Guereca
Students, professors, and faculty attended the active shooter training hosted by the Los Angeles Community College District and Los Angeles County Sheriffs on May 4.
The Safety and Emergency Services Manager for LACCD, Adam Suarin, and Deputy Michael Sampson from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department led the FEMA-based two-hour training.
The training focused on giving those that attended information they could use in an active shooter situation.
If students are in the middle of an unpredictable attack, the best thing to do is get out.
They should cover themselves with something that can stop a bullet and conceal themselves out of sight from the shooter. Afterward, they should look for emergency exits or windows.
If reaching an exit is impossible, look for a room or confined area that can be locked down and secured.
Part of the interactive training included four audience members chosen at random to barricade the door.
Those chosen didn’t know each other but still had to work together.
Barricading the door can buy time and safety until law enforcement arrives.
As a last resort, students must be prepared to defend themselves by doing anything to disrupt the shooter’s ability to see, breathe or control their gun.
Forms of defense include using an improvised weapon or fighting back.
The circumstances are different in every active shooter situation.
Students, professors, and faculty must be aware of their surroundings and study the people and environment around them.
Having situational awareness can make a big difference in the outcome of an active shooter event.
Paying attention to what people look like and being able to describe them in detail is important.
When law enforcement arrives on the scene, their job is to take down the shooter.
They need the most accurate description to have a better chance of taking them down.
“Say what you see,” said Deputy Sampson.
“You guys need to help us with the description, and we’ll be able to help you,” he continued.
Law enforcement will be in a heightened state of readiness and awareness.
Students should keep their hands visible and follow any commands given.
Changes don’t happen overnight. People are driven to active shooter behavior. They’ve made the decision that they have nothing to lose.
Most of the time, the attack cycle of an active shooter starts when the shooter is young.
“Somebody has done them wrong as a kid, and it stays with them to the point where they feel like they’ve been wronged in the past.
“They feel like they haven’t been listened to. They’ve been ridiculed at some point in their life,” Saurin said.
In the attack cycle, there is a stage where new behaviors are exhibited.
The behaviors include becoming withdrawn, not focusing on anything happening and pulling themselves away.
By scanning all the data available daily, the changes in someone’s behavior can become noticeable, and reporting these behaviors can save lives.
For those on campus who notice something might be off with someone they know, they can contact the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT).
BIT is available to anyone in the district.
BIT is composed of faculty, staff, administration, and sheriffs.
It is used in the campus community to inform them of any concerns regarding a student inside or outside the classroom.
When a BIT referral is submitted, it gets sent to the BIT team’s emails. They take a look and see what the issue is.
From there, the best course of action is determined.
The BIT team is not a crisis intervention team.
If there is a crisis on campus, students are asked to call the sheriff’s station at (323) 265-8800.