For the first time, the Carrollton Police Department hosted a multi-language shooter response training for the community on Feb. 8.
Instead of just English, the session was also held in Spanish and Korean. Rex Redden, executive director of public safety, said the active shooter response training sessions began after Mayor Kevin Falconer tasked him to work on preventing violence in Carrollton.
He said he had been presenting the program to churches, businesses and community groups, but he wanted to reach out to Spanish and Korean communities.
“Our primary goal is to prevent incidents through education and increasing awareness. However, all of these have been in English,” Redden said. “The program has been well-received, but I just knew there was a segment of our population that we weren’t reaching.”
The session was held at the Ministerios Bethania Church in Carrollton. Andrew Palacios from the church presented in Spanish while Mayor Pro Tem Young Sung presented in Korean. Redden said without their help the session would have not been possible.
“They had my presentation transcribed into Spanish and English and were able to display the presentation simultaneously in all three languages,” Redden said. “This was quite an accomplishment in itself.”
The session focused on how to respond to an active shooter event and also how to prevent one from happening. Redden reviewed information provided by the FBI on the indicators of potential violence, the signs shooters display leading up to an event and overcoming the inhibitions people have of reporting suspicious behavior.
“In order to avoid active shooter events, people close to the shooter, who are most likely to notice these behaviors, need to report what they are seeing so that law enforcement can intervene,” he said.
While there are no plans yet to expand the languages offered, Redden said he would not be opposed to the idea considering the success of this event.
In the meantime, Redden encourages the community to attend and learn what to do if they find themselves in an active-shooter situation. The risk of being involved in this situation is low, he said, but the challenge is when people encounter an active shooter, panic can set in or they can freeze up if they aren’t prepared.
“Both can increase the risk of being a victim,” he said.
The next session has not been scheduled yet, but Redden said he is willing to come to anyone’s church, business or community group to do a presentation.
“Most people don’t think that they will ever need this course, and statistically they won’t,” Redden said. “However, just as we’ve been prepared since we were children to respond to other types of emergencies, such as a fire or tornado, we should also prepare for this type of emergency.”
To request an active-shooter response training session, email Rex Redden at Rex.Redden@cityofcarrollton.com.