REYNOLDSVILLE — An upcoming seminar will offer professional and educational resources for people in the community who could face an active shooter situation.
On Monday, Jan. 14, the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Services and Jefferson County Commissioners will host an Active Shooter Symposium at 8:30 a.m. at Jeff Tech (Jefferson County-DuBois Area Vocational Technical School).
Jefferson County Director of Emergency Services Tracy Zents said the event will feature two guest speakers — Robert Winters, a protective security advisor with the United States Department of Homeland Security, and retired Delaware State Police officer James Warwick, who is also assistant professor and chairman of Wilmington University’s Criminal Justice Program.
“The two guest speakers have dedicated their lives to protecting communities and training first responders on how to react, respond and recover from situations that involve life survival,” he said.
Representatives of local police departments will also be in attendance to work directly with attendees, Zents said.
“The main focus of the symposium is to educate everyone on the growing trend of active shooter events across our nation,” Zents said. “If we can educate everyone on signs to look for, suspicious activities and individuals, we may be able to prevent situations from occurring.”
There will also be on-hand local law enforcement officials, alongside the guest speakers, who will provide one-on-one time with the attendees, Zents said.
“This gives them the ability to network with individuals in their communities to build a strong partnership prior to anything happening,” he said.
Taking a “forward” approach when it comes to active shooting situations, rather than waiting to react if and when they happen, is key for people to understand, Zents says.
“The (Jefferson) County Commissioners have given me the support to do what we can for our residents for their own survival,” he said.
The event is sponsored by Jefferson County Commissioners Jack Matson, Herbert Bullers and Jeffrey Pisarcik.
“We need help from the public, to help curtail violent situations from happening,” Zents said. “By understanding what to look for, we can help prevent an active shooter event, but also help control and eradicate the drug issues, and multitude of other situations facing out country and state.”
Zents said he urges that community members attend the symposium, including representatives of organizations, businesses, factories, schools and churches. It can also benefit people involved with open-air venues and planners of fairs and festivals prepare for an emergency situation.
“Reacting rationally will strengthen our resolve and build a stronger community for everyone,” he said.
Jeff Tech is located at 576 Vo Tech Road in Reynoldsville. To register, visit www.jefftech.info/organizational-safety-symposium or call 814-849-5052 ext. 1.