Imad Hamad- Opinion- Dearborn Press & Guide

March 19, 2018

There is no question that risk is part of life.

One of the risks we face in today’s society is the threat of mass shootings. The threat is not limited to any specific place or time. Even locations such as schools, places of worship, colleges and other perceived safe havens are not immune from mass shootings.

Given this unfortunate reality, it is imperative on leaders of institutions of all kinds to protect those they lead by having them undergo active shooter training. This is not a guarantee of safety from violence; it is preparation for a contingency that is all too real in today’s America.

Of course, we should not be alarmists. The sky is not falling.

We are a nation of more than 325 million people. There were 317 mass shooting incidents in 2017.

We are not an awful dangerous society. But even one incident or one death is one too many for a society that values life and safety of everyone. Those in a position to manage and/or lead people owe all stakeholders the training that provides the tools to prepare for known risks. An active shooter situation is a known risk.

This training not only prepares for the contingency of an active shooter situation, it also helps build trust with law enforcement. Active, constructive and effective engagement with law enforcement helps to enhance and advance trust between law enforcement and society.

In a democracy, it is vital that law enforcement maintains the trust of all society’s components. Constructive engagement with the police, outside of emergency situations, helps develop dialogue and trust between law enforcement and those they are sworn to protect and often risk their lives doing so.

Enhancing the safety and the security of our society requires informed, educated and trained citizens. Readiness is key. We can’t afford to take this ongoing challenge of active shooters lightly. We have to keep in mind that no place or entity is immune.

The active shooter training is essential, more important and more pressing to obtain by all entities with no exceptions.

A year ago, I attended an active shooter training conducted by the Department of Homeland Security through the Dearborn Police Department. I can attest that the training was extremely valuable. This training is vital to help save lives.

Saving lives is our common responsibility and such training equips us with the needed techniques to deal with such a situation if it happened.

I see it imperative for the leadership of all entities not to rely only on the first responders and the law enforcement agencies alone. Not being prepared can endanger everyone in an active shooter situation. Knowledge and preparedness can help reduce the chaos that results from such contingencies and, therefore, help save lives.

Theodore Roosevelt once said: “In any moment of decision … the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

Today an active shooter situation is a realistic known risk for all of us and it is imperative that we all get this training hoping that we never have to use it.

Imad Hamad is the executive director of American Human Rights Council in Dearborn.



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