Harrisonburg Police Explain Procedure for Responding to Active Shooter

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Local police have a few tips to offer when it comes to procedures during an active shooter situations.

Reacting to a situation, whether it's in an office or other building, will vary based on the layout of the building.

Harrisonburg Police teach three key words: avoid, deny and defend.

Lieutenant Rod Pollard is one of the officers who teaches people how to prepare for a worst case scenario.

Lt. Pollard said when police respond to a call involving a shooter, their protocol is called rapid deployment.

Harrisonburg police are trained to go into a crisis situation and stop a person from hurting others.

However, there are things you can do if something like the shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, were to happen.

Lt. Pollard recommends avoiding the shooter, and if you can't run, barricade yourself into a room.

The last choice is to defend yourself at all costs.

"It's all going to be situational. It's all going to depend on where the suspect is, how close he is to the innocents. How close or loud the gunshots are. But if you have the opportunity to escape, then escaping, or avoiding contact is going to be your first option," said Lt. Pollard.

After officers initially respond, SWAT team negotiators and crisis response teams are put into place if needed.

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