Landover safety conference to address active shooter prep -- Gazette.Net


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Prince George’s County officials say they hope adding an active shooter presentation in response to the recent Washington Navy Yard shooting will help residents better understand how to respond to threats and save lives.

Ronnie Gill, Prince George’s County Office of Emergency Management director, said that in light of recent events, this training would help address an emerging threat, “especially when it happens next door to you.”

On Monday, Aaron Alexis, 34, of Texas allegedly killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard after he got into the facility with a gun, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. Alexis died in a gun battle with police, according to MPD.

The active shooter presentation will be part of the 2013 Emergency Preparedness Conference, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 28 at the First Baptist Church of Glenarden Ministry Center, 3600 Brightseat Road in Landover, Gill said.

While the panel is still being put together, panelists will be discussing safety procedures related to active shooter scenarios, Gill said.

Rex Barrett, Prince George’s County Public Schools’ acting security director, said he will be part of the new panel, discussing safety systems in place if a school is confronted with an active shooter.

This panel is an opportunity to show parents and residents what the schools do in these situations, and part of the discussion will be teaching parents how they can help, he said.

“One of the things we want to urge is candid conversations with your kids,” Barrett said. “If you see something, say something.”

Lt. William Alexander, a county police spokesman, said people should develop plans for active shooter situations, as having a plan goes a long way to making sure people respond appropriately and saves lives.

Alexander cautions that plans are not always foolproof and people should be prepared to adapt if the situation calls for it.

“In those situations you aren’t going to have time to think,” Alexander said. “We encourage people to have a plan and practice that plan.”

The conference takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and attendance is free, but registration is required. To register for the conference, call the Office of Emergency Management at 301-780-8313.

ccook@gazette.net