BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — From shopping malls and grocery stores to factories, local police are making sure that people are prepared in case of an active shooter situation.
The Belvidere Police Department educated the community on Tuesday about planning for a worst case scenario. The FBI said that there were 61 active shooter incidents last year, and many of them happened at the workplace. Belvidere Police are now trying to educate businesses so they know what to do.
“A lot of these incidents happen in commers, it happens in places where the public comes in,” said Ellen Genrich, emergency response for the Boone County Health Department. “That’s what we have at the health department, and sometimes people aren’t real happy when they come in to the health department.”
The Belvidere Police Department walked local business leaders through a scenario Tuesday morning in which a gunman ends up on their property. Genrich said that she wants to make sure her employees are always safe.
“For us to train so our employees can recognize when someone is just irate about something, or when there might really be a more serious threat,” Genrich said.
Belvidere Police Sergeant Paul Derry said that it is always uncomfortable for people to talk about active shooters, but that it needs to be done so it does not keep happening.
“These people that work together, that they can sit down and talk about, ‘well. if this were to happen then what would we do, which exits would we use, who’s going to call and from where, exit strategies,'” Derry said.
Genrich said that the health department is going to have more active shooter drills in the coming months.
“A lot of times I think in your work place you just get very comfortable, and so I think it’s really important that people think critically about their work place and what they would do if these scenarios happen,” Genrich said. “Not just a fire, but what if there is an active threat coming at me, what should I do?”
Belvidere Police said that they hope this trend of active shooters stops.