Between 2014-2015, there were 40 active shooter incidents in the United States. These incidents resulted in the deaths of 231 people.
Six of these shootings ended after a citizen took action.
Unfortunately, Augusta has had its share of active shooting incidents, including the Independence Day shooting on the Riverwalk last year.
Jasper Cooke, director of the Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response, is asking the Augusta University community to think about their preparedness should such an event occur again.
“What would you do if you were at the Riverwalk when this happened,” he asked. “What would you do if you were at the mall and a fight broke out and someone started firing a weapon? We’ve been fortunate in our area in general. We’ve had fewer of these situations than some parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to happen.”
In February, CEPaR will offer active shooter training and other events to Augusta faculty, staff and students.
The training will cover a variety of topics from planning and preparation to unique ways of securing doors. Cooke hopes the training will provide the Augusta community with options in the event that they find themselves in a volatile situation.
“We want them to have options to create a safe environment for themselves in case a situation occurs where they’re at,” Cooke said. “Statistically, they’re more likely to be in a situation in the community than on campus. So, this training is applicable to places like where they shop, public places, houses of worship or anywhere else they may visit in the course of their day-to-day life.”
Beginning next month, CEPaR will kick off a series of continuous training opportunities for the campus community. These events will be conducted at least twice each semester for training, a meet-and-greet with the police command staff or conversations about current events with University Police and CEPaR.
“Right now, there’re a lot of events involving violence with guns, not only in the community but the country,” Cooke said. “So, the more information we can provide the public, the better prepared they will be.”
Active shooter training will be held on the Summerville Campus in the Jaguar Student Activities Center on Feb. 1 from 2-3 p.m. in the coffeehouse, room 235. Training will also be held on the Health Sciences Campus on Feb. 8 from 4-5 p.m. in BC1400 in the Auditoria Center. Training is available to individual colleges, departments and student groups. For more information, contact Jasper Cooke at firstname.lastname@example.org.