Sheriff Darren E

Eighty-five. This is a significant number because as of the writing of this article, according to gunviolencearchive.org, 85 represents the number of deaths in the United States from “Mass Shooting Incidents” so far in 2019.

While there is no true definition of a mass shooting, the United States Department of Homeland Security defines an active shooter as “An individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area…..there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims”.

Would you know what to do if you were with your family at a shopping center and someone started shooting? What if you’re at work, and a similar situation occurs. Would you react properly? Could you keep your family and others safe? Do you know your rights in reference to using force up to and including deadly force in an incident like this?

As sheriff, I have tasked my staff to develop a class for the public which can help you answer these questions. We need to be proactive rather than reactive in educating our citizens about this subject in an effort to keep you safer.

Citizens Response to Active Shooter is a class we have developed using best practices and information gathered from various reliable sources. This class defines what an active shooter is, describes actions to be taken when confronted with an active shooter situation, advises you what actions you should take when law enforcement arrives on the scene, provides very useful information on indicators for violence in the workplace prior to it occurring, and we suggest what steps you should take to be prepared for in the event you find yourself in an active shooter situation.

We have offered this class to several local businesses, banks and doctor’s offices. The course has been well received and has fostered good conservations about safety practices and policy updates among the recipients.

Being prepared is the most critical portion of staying and keeping yourself, your family, and your friends safe. Situational awareness is vital at all times. This course also details how we respond as law enforcement. As national awareness comes from these horrific events such as the Columbine High School shooting, the Virginia Tech shooting, Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and most recently the Henry Pratt Shooting in Aurora Illinois, law enforcement evolves our training and intelligence gathering techniques. We take this data, break it down, institute the lessons learned into our response training and share it with our community partners.

We are offering a free class on this subject on Saturday March 30, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Iredell County Agriculture Center, located at 444 Bristol Drive in Statesville. If you are interested in coming and learning please send me an email at decampbell@co.iredell.nc.us or Capt. Bill Hamby at whamby@co.iredell.nc.us or call us 704-878-3180 to register.

If you have any questions about this subject or any other law enforcement related topic, please do not hesitate to contact me or one of our deputies.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.