The City of Miami Police has launched a program to help businesses "combat terrorism" by hosting an event hailed as "active shooter training for the private sector".
Local government officials and Downtown area business owners attended an event dubbed "Operation B.A.T." -- or "Business Against Terrorism" -- held Thursday at the Miami Police Academy. The program intends to provide members of the community with methods on how to survive possible incidents of domestic terrorism.
"It's like community policing on steroids," said Ofc. Marcos Perez of the Miami Police Department Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. "What we're hoping to do is to create a public/private partnership between the police department and the community."
News of domestic shooters have dominated the headlines in the last month. In August, a movie theater shooting at a Colorado screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" left 12 dead, and gunshots wounded 8 bystanders a wee later when a fired employee in New York City shot and killed a former co-worker outside the Empire State Building.
Such incidents prompted police officials here in Miami to give a second look at providing the public with the tools they deem necessary to survive a domestic terrorist threat. In the hour-and-a-half long presentation, the officer provided video clips of what might happen in a hostage situation and what those caught in the moment can do to make it out alive.
"Hideout," offered Ofc. Perez. "Most active shooter situations are about 15 minutes long. If you can survive that long, the cavalry is coming."
He advised staying quiet, avoid being noticed, and to call 9-1-1. During a standoff situation, if found by a gunman and worst comes to worst, he says: "take action."
But, the best advice he had in the event a deranged gunman arrives in the workplace?
"If you can do it without being noticed, get out."