PLANO (CBS11) – Training for disaster, Plano Police on Wednesday night attempted to prepare residents in case they find themselves involved in an active shooter situation.
It is considered the new reality.
At any moment, anywhere, someone could start shooting and ordinary citizens could be right there in the middle of the gunshots.
“That’s why we’re here, to learn more. To help others and help ourselves in case there’s problems in the workplace,” said Stephanye Barnes, a Plano resident.
But what would you do?
“I don’t know, I really don’t,” said Mel Tolle, a Plano resident.
That is not what the City of Plano wants to hear.
“This is not to alarm folks in any way, shape or form,” said Lt. Mica Lunt with the Plano Police Department.
Lunt recalls the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, the Las Vegas massacre and the mass shooting just down the street in Plano at a Cowboys game watch party where eight innocent people died.
“To know that, that happened in our city was heartbreaking,” said Lunt.
A team of officers, firefighters and other first responders spent Wednesday evening trying to make sure the folks who are always there first are ready.
Lunt said on average, it takes police 3 minutes to respond to an active shooter call.
“So we get there very quickly, but three minutes is an eternity,” said Lunt. “And so the actions citizens can take in those three minutes can absolutely mean the difference between life or death.”
Police want folks to remember ‘run… hide… and fight.’ They say to always try to run to safety first. If that’s not possible, hide in a secure spot. Finally, if none of that works, they say to be ready to fight.
“It’s kind of like learning CPR,” said Marylynn Tolle, a Plano resident. “If something happens to you, I could step up and maybe do something.”
Marylynn and Mel Tolle said while they do not like that fact that felt the need to attend an active shooter training session, they would rather be ready.
“You never know. You always have to be on your guard. It’s a shame but that’s what reality is at this time,” said Mel Tolle.
Plano Police spokesperson Officer David Tilley said to his knowledge, he believes Plano is the first city in North Texas to offer such training to residents.