LACONIA — In light of recent attacks on innocent people both at home and abroad, the Police Department is offering a presentation to educate and prepare members of the public should they find themselves involved in such a situation.
Capt. Matt Confield said the department developed the presentation , titled "Surviving an Active Shooter: Response for Civilians," in 2013, and has presented it to a number of civic groups and private employers.
The presentation begins with a description of active-shooter incidents, distinguishing them from other threatening situations involving firearms. How the police will respond to an active shooter will be explained. Although these incidents are difficult to foresee, the presentation will indicate the kinds of suspicious activity that should be reported to the police. Finally, the "run, hide, fight" response to an active shooter will be presented. Canfield said the presentation incorporates principles and concepts developed by the police department of Houston, Texas.
Canfield said the Laconia Police Department has been training to respond to active shooter incidents for some time and is preparing for a significant drill in the spring.
"We constantly follow these events and seek to learn what we can from each of them," he said.
For example, he said that prior to the shooting in San Bernadino this week, a neighbor observed people coming and going from the shooters' apartment at all hours of day and night, but never reported that to the police.
"We're quite in tune with active-shooter situations," Canfield said.
Canfield said the department has identified the locations in the city that are most susceptible to an incident and planned an appropriate response for each. However, he noted "these incidents can occur anywhere and everywhere." He emphasized that, in offering the presentation, the department has no intent of alarming residents, but instead seeks to assure them that officers are prepared for an untoward incident and is offering members of the public an opportunity to prepare themselves.
The presentation will take place Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Laconia Police Department. For more information or to register, contact Cheryl at 524-5257, ext. 322. There is no cost to register, but seating is limited and registrations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
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