NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - In the wake of last weekend's two mass shootings, Suffolk County officials are making a clear statement. They’re not waiting for Washington to come up with a plan, they’ve implemented one on their own.
“Our obligation is to make sure we’re doing everything we can to keep our residents safe should god forbid one of these active shooter scenarios happen here,” said Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
For several years the police department has been training its officers for unexpected dangerous events. Now they’ve extended the invitation to teachers and administrators to make sure they’re also prepared.
“We’ve held exercises at three shopping malls, we’ve partnered with Jake’s 58 Hotel and Casino as well as area schools and hospitals to make sure that we’re coordinating our response together to the possibility of an active shooter,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart.
The police department plans to partner with big box stores and religious institutions to hold drills and will also explore video sharing capabilities with small businesses.
As for schools, two programs are being used to help increase response times in the event of an emergency situation.
“We’re going to be using our technology we’ve developed SHARE and the RAVE mobile app,” Bellone said. “SHARE gives us the ability to have eyes on the school for the police department and the RAVE mobile app instantly communicates with the police that an active shooter situation is happening.”
“When it comes to active shooter scenarios, every single second matters because us getting to a scene later if there’s an event occurring in a school could mean that someone’s son or daughter gets shot when they would not otherwise have had that happen,” said Chief of Police Stuart Cameron.
Officials in Nassau County are in the process of scheduling school active shooter drills to enhance training and have trained all superintendents and principals on protocol.