"Know what to do": More shootings spark concern about safety, preparedness

Published: Nov. 19, 2019 at 4:58 PM CST
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Three shootings in the last week -- two in California and one in Oklahoma -- have again grabbed the attention of not just law enforcement and trainers but businesses and people in the community.

While those recent incidents were hundreds of miles from us, they're bringing about questions of preparedness and safety in public places.

They're also sparking some people to make changes and be more alert.

After De Pere police officer and active-shooter trainer Jedd Bradley heard about those three shootings that left 10 dead, including the shooters, he started taking a closer look at shootings across the country this year.

What he found surprised him.

"That's mind boggling. That just tells us this is not going away," says Bradley. "Three-hundred seventy mass shootings, and that's not even including the three last week in California and Oklahoma. That's a lot."

He points to a stack of papers listing each shooting in 2019.

"Out of this whole stack you and I just looked at, I would say three-quarters of them you and I never heard of. There are 10-plus victims in some of these. Never heard of them," he says.

Bradley says many of these have happened in public places where people are shopping or eating and not expecting gun violence.

That's where he says people need to change their mindset.

While it's not about being scared or afraid to go places or be in public, he says it's about simply paying more attention when you are.

"We train as law enforcement on how to respond to it and stop the threat. You're there. You're right in the circle when it happens. Know where your exits are. Know what to do. How do you barricade? Just have the mindset of moving and getting out," he explains.

Bradley says more businesses are requesting training and are heeding the advice for simple yet effective measures.

"A little 99 cent wedge from Menards can save your life if you've got to go into a closet and wedge it and it doesn't have a lock," says Bradley. "You go into businesses in the area and they buy them in bright colors now. They put them on the door with Velcro."

Law enforcement are doing their part, too, holding county-wide trainings and coordinating response plans.

While that's critical, too, Bradley says it's the split-second decisions people make as a shooting is happening that make all the difference.

"I really take a personal closeness to it when I do (training) in the area, because I live here. My kids, my wife, everybody lives here, and it could be somebody that reacts differently than they do that could save their life," adds Bradley.

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