It is a situation everyone hopes to never be in, but at the same time, knows they should be prepared for just in case.
“All too often in today’s society we see things where people are attacked with guns, knives, bats and vehicles,” said Reed. “We want to ensure that people know their rights and what they can and can’t do in any of those situations, not just involving somebody with a gun but any day when you’re out shopping, things like that.”
Reed taught the Civilian Response Course at the Georgia Mountain Regional Commission Tuesday afternoon.
Employees with GMRC learned how to react in an active attack situation, which is defined as an attempted mass murder.
“That can include bats, knives, cars…anything that’s a weapon,” said Reed.
When faced with an active attack, the best option is to get away from the attacker. Know your exit options and be aware of your surroundings.
“[At] Businesses, you have to be able to see that front door, because humans are creatures of habit and odds are that’s where the attacker is going to come from,” said Reed. “Being able to see outside, see who’s coming to your business and the front door, who you have working the front area of your office…that’s of the utmost importance.”
Some other highlights from the course include to stay as calm as you can in these situations. And do not try to hide or play dead with an active shooter, as it takes away from your escape time and makes you a more vulnerable target.
If you cannot escape the attack and are trapped in a room, use what you can to barricade the door.
Reed referenced some previous tragedies during the course, including the Columbine High School massacre, Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting and even a 2014 courthouse shooting in Forsyth County.
“We don’t want to Monday quarterback what’s happened in the past, but we want to use those as learning tools,” said Reed. “Show these people real-life scenarios and show them what they don’t want to do and teach them the best way to survive.”
Reed said the course was designed by Texas State University. He has been teaching it on behalf of the Gainesville Police Department for several years.
The course is available to members of the community for free through the Gainesville Police Department.