• FOX25 Investigates active shooter training for local companies

    By: Eric Rasmussen

    Updated:

    BOSTON - More companies, schools and local governments are paying good money to train their employees how to react if they're the next targets in a mass shooting.

    Taking down a man with a gun is a last resort the people taking the training hope they'll never have to use.

    “It was definitely eye opening,” Sharon Burke-Prescott said.

    Burke-Prescott is among more and more employees going through active shooter training in Braintree.

    Employers are paying Todd McGhee to give people more than a good scare.

    Mass Murders from Gun Violence

    From San Bernardino, to sandy hook, even Wakefield, Mass. where seven people were killed at Edgewater Technology in 2000.

    “We're talking about somebody's who's actively engaged in killing.”

    McGhee, a former mass. State police trooper, says interest in his brand of training has never been higher.

    “Literally, the last four to five months, the response has been overwhelming,” he said.

    Active Shooter Training is Big Business

    A four-hour course with McGhee costs $150 a person, and he's not the only game in town.

    FOX25 Investigates found several private firms that offer active shooter training around Boston.

    Many are built around the mantra: "run, hide fight."

    The city of Houston used a $200,000 grant to make an active shooter training video in 2012.

    “It's here. It's something we have to deal with,” business owner Jay Nuss said at a session for his employees in January.

    “I did reach out to about 3,500 people in my database, one Monday morning at 9 a.m. and at 9:01 a.m. it was totally filled.”

    McGhee says the training is about how to decide whether to run, or hide, or fight back when seconds count.

    For businesses, McGhee says it comes down to saving lives and money.

    “If there is a critical incident, there are going to be lawsuits. Without question, someone is going to sue the organization,” he said.

    Headlines from Colorado to Virginia and California highlight the liability in the millions of dollars.

    “You have to be able to begin to look at your policies and your procedures to successfully minimize the loss in a court of law,” McGhee said.

    McGhee says there are people upset about what they see as profiting off a state of fear.

    “I'm not going to apologize for being a for-profit company, but we have information that is critical and life-saving,” he said.

    McGhee says businesses with 50 to 150 employees are his most frequent customers.

    To learn more about McGhee’s training visit his blog or check out the tips below.

    Look for Catalysts in a person’s life, catalysts are push factors towards risk-based “mindsets and behaviors” such as:

    • Divorce from spouse
    • Divorce of Parents
    • Loss of job
    • Death of a loved one
    • Financial troubles (Garnished wages)
    • Home foreclosure
    • Car repossession
    • Recent restraining order
    • Child custody issues
    • Bullied or harassed

    Recognize Grievances:

    • The company wouldn’t advance my pay
    • My supervisor treats me differently than everyone else
    • I got bypassed for a promotion
    • Take verbal or written threats seriously

    Company Procedures:

    • Workplace violence prevention training
    • Active shooter awareness training
    • Policies and procedures in place
    • Consistent communication between HR dept. and in house security professionals
    • Cross training between HR dept. and in house security professionals
    • Emergency Response Plan

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