Vestal Police Department hosts “How to Respond to an Active Shooter Situation” presentation

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Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 10:45 PM EDT
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VESTAL (WBNG) - As of July 18 around the United States, according to Gun Violence Archive, there have been 354 mass shootings in 2022.

“Unfortunately, the events that are happening now more frequently they seem have kind of made this a hot topic,” said Town of Vestal Police Department Captain Christopher Streno.

With 2022 showing signs of its capability to reach the 2021 record of 692 mass shootings, according to Gun Violence Archive, Captain Streno explained why it’s important to get the message out. “This is a valuable presentation. This isn’t about preventing, this is about what could happen if you get caught up in one of these scenarios,” he said. “It’s about teaching people that what they do matters, it’s about empowering them to increase their chances of survival.”

July 18 marked another presentation for the police department titled “How to Respond to an Active Shooter Situation”. This time, it was hosted at the Vestal Public Library. “This is the second one in a row that we’ve done that has booked up. So we’re going to keep pushing it out as a department as long as people keep wanting it,” said Captain Streno.

Vestal resident Gloria Thompson was one of the many to attend the Monday evening event. “You just never know. Things happen. We think we’re in a safe community but we’ve seen in past cases where they felt safe, too. And then all of a sudden everything changed,” she said.

For attendees like Thompson, Captain Streno hopes they internalize some topics of discussion. “To develop situational awareness. That’s knowing what’s going on around you and paying attention to your surroundings,” he said. “Another important thing is when you go anywhere in public, you should always know how to get out of where you’re at.”

He said the police department’s presentations aren’t about invoking fear, but about increasing a person’s odds of survival if in a situation.

According to the library’s website, the July 18 presentation was fully booked.

Tools are available to prevent some future mass shootings, such as reporting systems. One tool, for specifically school violence prevention, is the Say Something Anonymous Reporting System. It’s available by visiting this website.

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