Presentation teaches locals what to do in mass shooting incident

Law enforcement officials works at the scene of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – After more than two dozen people were killed in a church shooting in Texas, the demand for active shooter training builds.

Police said there is a mass shooting every other week. On Monday, dozens of people turned out at the Clifton Park Halfmoon Public Library for a presentation by the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office to learn where to run, how to hide, and when to fight.

“The average citizen does not have any training to deal with these situations,” Schenectady Neighborhood Watch Inc. Pres. Frederick Lee said.

Lee said now is the time to be prepared should a mass shooting take place in the Capital Region.

During the presentation, Deputy Ken Cooper included information from some of the country’s deadliest mass shootings, including Columbine High School, Sandy Hook Elementary School, and Pulse Nightclub in Orlando.

He said procedures have changed.

“Not only are they using weapons, but they are using bombs,” he said. “Pipe bombs, propane tanks.”

On Monday, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office arrested Edward Reis after finding an arsenal of weapons inside his Knox home. It is unclear what Reis had planned, but he had enough explosives to do serious damage.

“We actually train our members that any time you come in contact with a bomb when a mass shooting is taking place, you have no choice but to enter that building,” Cooper said.

The crowd watched intensely as Cooper explained their three best options.

Run. Hide. Fight.

“You’re there at the time when police officers are maybe miles away,” Larry Allen, of Saratoga County, said. “You could maybe prevent killing by just being trained and know what to do to take [the shooter] out.”

To Lee, surviving means having a plan.

“Unfortunately, it’s not a matter of if it’s going to happen but when,” he said. “Eventually, something will and you have to be prepared.

Some key takeaways of the presentation included taking note of all the exits in the building; if you can’t run, barricade yourself in a room and hide; and when those options are exhausted, then fight.

The community will have a chance to practice what they learned on Wednesday during an active shooter drill at the library.

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