In the wake of the attacks on San Bernardino, there has been a paradigm shift when it comes to training for active shooter situations. Workplace training no longer teaches people to hide and wait, instead employees are being taught how to use team work to fight and disabled the attackers.
From Silicon Valley tech companies to Northern Virginia credit unions, this new approach to the threat of active shooters is gaining ground.
Spooked by a year of high-profile rampages, hundreds of companies and organizations like NeighborWorks are racing to train their workers how to react to a shooter in their workplaces. And after decades of telling employees to lock down and shelter in place, they are teaching them to fight back if evacuating is not an option.
The idea: Work as a team to disrupt and confuse shooters, opening up a split second to take them down.
The paradigm shift in response — from passive to active — has been endorsed and promoted by the Department of Homeland Security. Last month, it recommended that federal workplaces adopt the training program “Run, Hide, Fight,” which it helped develop. D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier used the same phrase on a recent episode of “60 Minutes.”
“Your options are run, hide or fight,” Lanier said last month. “I always say, if you can get out, getting out’s your first option, your best option. If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there.”
Gun rights proponents have a much different view of what works. They say that if more law-abiding citizens were armed, more mass shootings could be prevented. But most employers ban guns from the workplace, even in states that embrace concealed-carry permits.