County planning active shooter symposium

By: 
Larry McGuire
Staff Writer

BROOKVILLE — If you’ve been watching the news and you’re troubled by all the active shooters that have infiltrated public venues, especially schools, an active shooter symposium, sponsored by the Jefferson County commissioners, Jeff Tech and the Jefferson County Department of Emergency Services, will be held on Monday, Jan. 14, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Jeff Tech School, 574 Vo-Tech Rd., Reynoldsville.

Tracy Zents, director of Jefferson County Emergency Services, said this is an informational session.

“Our intent is to try and educate as many people as possible on signs and things to look for to try and prevent this type of situation from happening,” Zents explained, adding that if they can curtail that kind of activity, it may help with the drug issues that are plaguing Jefferson County as well.

Zents said the primary focus is how people can protect themselves if they are faced with a situation like an active shooter.

He added that no one is immune to the threat of an active shooter.

“There’s always that risk, although we don’t want people to live in fear, we want them to be cautious as to what is out there and what to look for and what they can do to protect themselves,” Zents said. “Law enforcement, first responders are all going to respond and do what we can.”

Zents said they won’t be there the moment the situation occurs.

“It’s our plan to try and get the word to as many people as we can and also help them in their preparedness plans on how they can secure their facilities and churches a little bit and working with the open air venues and what they can do to help protect themselves,” Zents said.

This event is free to all attendees, and lunch will be provided.

The guest speakers will be Robert Winters, protective security advisor for the United States Department of Homeland Security, and James Warwick, assistant professor and chair of the Criminal Justice Program for Wilmington University and a retired state trooper from the Delaware State Police.

Zents added that representatives from local police departments will also be on hand to help with your planning and preparing process or to just answer questions from a local level.

He noted that they are asking any organization such as the media, churches and chambers to please forward the event to their members for a large dissemination.

Should you have any questions, email Zents at tzents@jeffersoncountypa.com.

To register, go to http://www.jefftech.info/Organizational-Safety-Symposium or call (814) 849-5052 ext. 1.

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