Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Dale said last week that with planning and consultation, tragedies such as the Newtown, Conn., shooting could be avoided.
“Many experts say we cannot prevent these types of events, but that’s a bunch of baloney,” Dale said, speaking to representatives of county schools, hospitals and other organizations. “Can a storeowner plan to prevent a robbery in his store? Can you keep your car from being stolen? The answer is yes. Schools and communities must have a plan of action and prevention.”
With security stepped up and families across the nation still on edge after Sandy Hook, County Executive Ed Mangano and Dale hosted an Active Shooter Seminar on Jan. 7 at Adelphi University. The gathering was open to all private and public schools, as well as large corporations and hospitals.
Police define an active shooter, Dale explained, as an armed person who has used deadly physical force on others and continues to do so while having unrestricted access to additional victims, Dale explained. He or she might also use a knife or other type of weapon.
“On behalf of Nassau County’s 1.3 million residents, I express my deepest condolences to the victims and families of the terrible tragedy that took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.,” Mangano said. “While we all hope to never face such an active shooter situation, Nassau County is leading the nation in preparing school administrators. The safety of our children is of paramount concern, and working with the Nassau County Police Department, we will continue to advance preventative measures that enhance education and preparedness.”
The participants were advised of the police response should an active-shooter incident take place at their school or facility, with an emphasis on leaving lines of communication between police and institutions open at all times.
The seminar also compared law enforcement and school protocols, with the goal of ensuring public safety by coordinating them with the county’s protocols.