Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar calls it 'the fire drill for the 21st Century.' His office has begun offering free drills on how to deal with an active shooter for businesses, churches, schools, and even for individual homeowners who want to have a plan for this new threat.
Your place of business should have an active shooter plan," Salazar said. "It is our reality, its the new normal."
Salazar says his officers teach a group how they can work together if the worst happens to try to diminish the loss of life. They train how to lock doors, how to exit various buildings, and how to be aware if one or more people inside the office, church, school or home will be returning fire.
He says this training counters one of the two 'weapons' an active shooter counts on."Of course he is using the physical weapon, the gun, knife, or whatever it is," he said. "But the second weapon that he is counting on is the panic that he hopes to create, and that probably kills more people. They're counting on sending people into a blind panic, where they can't act."
Studies show that deaths from fire were fairly common in school houses across the country until the 1950s, when fire drills became standard. Since then, no student anywhere in the U.S. has died in a fire in a public school that has regular fire drills.
Salazar says that's the key behind active shooter drills.
"Make sure that everybody who is a member of your church or a person in your business, and everybody carries out the plan and acts more calmly, this is going to save lives in the long run."
Salazar says his officers will provide the training to anybody who wants it. Just call the Sheriff's office.