Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera Police Department hosted an Active Shooter seminar for local businesses at Madera Movies on Wednesday morning.
The Madera Police Department just concluded its second active shooter presentation with local businesses in an effort to make more people in Madera aware of a situation that is popping up throughout the country.
According to Madera Police Department Lt. Josiah Arnold Wednesday morning at Madera Movies, active shooter situations are on the rise, as well as deaths because of them. In the presentation, Arnold showed that between the years 2000-2013, there were 160 active shooter situations with 486 people killed and 557 wounded. However, in the first seven years of the study, there were 6.4 situations a year, but in the last seven years of the study, it increased to 16.4.
However, from 2013-2018, there were 107 incidents, an average of 20 or more, in which there were 357 people killed and 1,260 injured.
“There are exponentially more people dying in the active shooter events than 20 years ago,” Arnold said. “Fifty-one percent of those situations occur in the workplace or a commercial area.”
The presentation was the second given to Madera business owners and employees in the past two weeks.
“We’ve given this class to about 1,000 people in Madera and will continue to give it,” Arnold said. “Whether it’s business owners, school staff or students, our goal is to increase their chances of surviving and make them as educated as we can about some of the risks out there and the reality of active shooters.”
Arnold tells that these active shooter situations are more like slaughter than murder. The active shooters “go after big groups of defenseless people who can’t fight back,” he said.
However, Arnold states that most active shooters are statistical anomalies. They really don’t fit into the norm.
“Stimuli are common in everyday life,” Arnold said. “However, most people can process the information in normal ways.”
After showing the 50 or so in attendance videos to help support his case from a number of incidents in the past 15 years, Arnold said the Madera Police Department’s goal is to prevent loss of life and trauma during active shooter events.
“After Columbine, we’ve had to change our tactics with active shooters,” he said. “We can’t assume it’s a hostage situation anymore. The shooter’s goal is loss of life. The killer is there to take life.”
Arnold presented indicators of potential violence.
• Increased or alcohol drug use
• Increased missing work
• Decreased attention to hygiene and appearance
• Resistance or overreaction to policy changes
• Explosive or unprovoked outbursts
• Suicidal comments
• Paranoid behavior
• Domestic problems escalating into the workplace
• Talking about incidents of violence
• Empathy with individual who commit violent crimes
“Active shooters are radical, unpredictable people,” Arnold said. “The sooner you realize your life is in danger, the more chance you can react. You need to recognize danger for what it is and then reaction.”
Diffusion of responsibility is a response that people make when dealing with crowds. Some people, when they notice something wrong and are in a crowd are less likely to point it out than when they are alone.
“Diffusion of responsibility can get people killed in active shooting events,” Arnold said.
Arnold stated three techniques that can help save lives when dealing with an active shooter situation — run, hide and fight.
“When you do the right things, you can save lives,” Arnold said. “People that survive are people that plan ahead, not plan in the moment. Education and preparedness is the No. 1 thing for us.”
By hosting these presentations, Arnold and the Madera Police Department are trying to make as many people aware that active shooter events can happen in their backyard and without any notice. He plans to do more of these events in the near future.
“A lot of people don’t know active shooter events are on the rise,” Arnold said. “Far more people die in these events now than they did 20 to 30 years ago. The frequency of it is up, too. We’ve had some business groups reach out to us. We have ongoing training with the schools.”