FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – About 140 people showed up at Fort Worth’s Bob Bolen Public Safety Center to learn how to react to an active shooter situation. There were teachers, office administrators, security instructors and others in the free-to-the-public course. Among them, a retired couple with two different motivations for being here.
One was there learning basic safety techniques.
“It was important for me to know that I need to be checking the exits,” Sharon Beard said. “I don’t ever think about doing that.”
But for her husband, Bruce, “I just wanted to see what they had to say from — I was used to the police side going in — seeing what they recommended from the inside when it’s happening.”
Bruce Beard knows the importance of learning from past mass shootings. He was one of the first officers to respond to the Wedgewood Church shooting that left 7 dead. Officers then had already learned from the Columbine shootings months before not to wait once the shooting had started.
“They waited until everybody mustered up,” Beard said about the Columbine police response. “Well, while that was going on they were still in there shooting. And so, when this happened we just ran in. We didn’t know what was going on. You could hear shots. Everybody is running out, but you’re running in.”
Beard is in this active shooter class as a civilian because mass shootings are not the isolated, rare horrors they were on 1999. Now, there are survivors of many shootings who tell their stories through videos to classes like this and refined survival tactics.
Beard and the other students learn ways to escape, how to barricade themselves away from a gunman and that vigilance is needed everywhere today.
“You always thought, where else would you want your kids but in church? That had to be the safest place,” Beard said. “You know, now it’s not.”
This is the first of five of these seminars the city is hosting. All of them are free and open to the public.
If you would like more information, click here.
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