Hermiston Police start active shooter training for area business - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hermiston Police start active shooter training for area businesses, civilians

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Chief Edmiston says this training is not meant to scare or instill fear, rather to inform and educate in case of an emergency. Chief Edmiston says this training is not meant to scare or instill fear, rather to inform and educate in case of an emergency.

HERMISTON, OREGON- With a recent tragic workplace shooting in Yakima a conversation is sparked once again, questioning employee safety.

The city of Hermiston's Police Chief tells NBC Right Now they want to get ahead of the national problem by training everyday citizens about active shooter situations. "This is not a glamorous topic, we want to get the information out just to increase the likelihood of not being victimized, " said Chief Jason Edmiston. The FBI found police officers response times average around three minutes during active shooter situations.

"Three minutes may not sound like a lot but it is in the grand scheme of things," explained Chief Edmiston. Round after round, it can become fight or flight, "We really want to hit our business community because we know from statistics that about 46% of active shooting situations that have taken place between 2000 and 2013 happened in the business environment," said Edmiston.

60% of those shootings are over before three minutes times out. "We are trying to be out on the front end of this, we are trying to be proactive. We are the only profession that I know of where our goal is to put ourselves out of business," Edmiston explained.

The biggest hurdle, according to officers, is deliberating what to do next. Any amount of training and learning from past tragedies can improve your chances of survival, "We just want people to be a little bit more alert, aware of their surroundings, knowing what is going on around them," Edmiston told NBC Right Now.

The program is called Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, officers hope to conduct more training throughout this coming summer. "In policing we have changed, done a 180 from that (speaking on Columbine shooting) because at that event everybody was waiting for specialized units to respond. The reality is that people were dying, waiting," Edmiston painfully explained.

Chief Edmiston says this training is not meant to scare or instill fear, rather to inform and educate in case of an emergency.

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