MCC's Homeland Security Management Institute offers two classes on Active Shooter Awareness. One is a beginner seminar and the other is a companion intermediate course.
The classes are held at the Public Safety Training Facility in Henrietta. John Perrone, the HSMI Director, and his peers teach attendees how to deal with a crisis involving a shooter. "We try to teach the staff critical thinking during a crisis situation," said Perrone, a 30 year veteran of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. "We want them to know what are the options."
The class is available to anyone. Tuesday morning's session drew over one hundred first responders, as well as school, faith-based and corporate leaders. Susan Roberts-Grew is the administrator at Temple Sinai in Brighton. "I think this is something that's valuable," she said.
Temple Sinai includes a school with about 150 students. Roberts-Grew was made aware of the seminar by the Brighton Police Department, but didn't sign up for the class until after the Newtown tragedy. "I wasn't sure I would do it and after the Connecticut shooting, on that Monday I registered for the class," she said.
Participants learn how to escape, hide and - if necessary - fight. They're also taught how to create an effective emergency management and response plan. "If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail," said Perrone. "You have to have a plan, then you have to teach the staff the plan, then - more importantly - you have to exercise the plan."
Observing the long line of people signing in for the class, Roberts-Grew said, "I think we, as a county, as an organization, need to make sure that we have the information we need to be prepared in the event something goes wrong."
The HSMI initiative at MCC has been around for ten years. In the past, Perrone said two or three Active Shooter Awareness classes were offered each year. Now, with increased demand, he expects to offer about a half dozen in the next four to six months.
The next Active Shooter Awareness class will be held January 28. For more information about the program, and how to register, click here.