Orange County to Conduct Active Shooter Training for Employees

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In response to last week’s terrorist attack in nearby San Bernardino – which took place at a county government holiday party – Orange County officials are planning a series of active shooter trainings for county employees here.

At Tuesday’s county supervisors meeting, Chairman Todd Spitzer called for a “comprehensive assessment” of the county’s safety protocols, particularly hands on-training for employees and a review of emergency response plans.

“If we don’t train, we will not save lives,” Spitzer said, speaking to dozens of county employees gathered in the chambers.

The training, he added, would include “how to use items in your workplace to defend yourself…it might be a decanter, it might be a paper clip holder.”

Spitzer asked county CEO Frank Kim and Sheriff Sandra Hutchens to return with an action plan by the supervisors’ Jan. 26 meeting.

Hutchens sought to calm fears, pointing to numerous efforts by her sheriff’s department to prevent terror attacks, and respond effectively in the event one occurs in the county.

That includes the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center, a so-called “fusion center” where information about potential threats is vetted, and over 4,200 medical, law enforcement and fire workers who are trained in recognizing and reporting potential terrorist behavior.

Hutchens said she plans on setting up a two-hour active shooter response course for county workers, which empowers them to know what to do in a active shooter event.

Singers from the USO also performed the national anthem, in honor of the people of San Bernardino.

In last week’s massacre, which was the deadliest terrorist attack in the U.S. since 9/11, a San Bernardino County health inspector and his wife shot and killed 14 people at a holiday party for the county health department. The FBI says both shooters had been radicalized, with the wife allegedly pledging allegiance to ISIS in a Facebook post around the time of the shooting.

Among the victims of the attack was Yvette Velasco, a San Bernardino County health inspector and niece of Denise Velasco, who works for the Orange County Employees Association and represents Probation Department workers in labor negotiations.

At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Supervisor Lisa Bartlett read a dedication to the memory of Yvette Velasco who, at age 27, was one of the youngest victims of the shooting.

The Probation Department will be collecting donations for the Velasco family, Bartlett said. The family also set up a donation page at GoFundMe, which has raised over $30,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

You can contact Nick Gerda at ngerda@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter: @nicholasgerda.

  • Jacki Livingston

    Is that before or after Spitzer uses his pull to get OCSD deputies to go to the homes of anyone who criticizes him and bully them into shutting up? My, my, Toddy, you are a busy boy. I thought that you had Batman underoos and fancied yourself to be Walker, Texas Ranger, and could take down restaurants with a single pair of cuffs! *eyeroll* Having the county “leadership” *gigglesnickersnort* do trainings for active shooters is like having Donald Trump judging a vestal virgin contest. Not gonna do any good.

  • David Zenger
  • LFOldTimer

    Good God. Paper clip holders? Decanters? Are you humming me? How about issuing CCW’s to some employees and allow them to carry on the job? Hey, gun free zones don’t work. Bad guys love gun free zones. That’s been proven time and time again. And you’ll never get rid of guns with 350,000,000 in the country. So smarten up! Arm the good guys. Discussing paper clip holders as weapons is incredibly stupid and a total waste of time and money!.

    • David Zenger

      Paper clip holders? Decanters?

      Well, they could pass out serrated table knives and fish tacos.

      • LFOldTimer

        Yeah, a warm fish taco right between an armed terrorist’s eyes while screaming “God is Great” would do the trick, eh? I don’t even know why Spitzer went to his car to grab his hog. The fish taco would have stopped the proselytizer square in his tracks. Especially if it was made of day old Cod.

      • Kathleen Tahilramani

        Good One
        I think the County would also be wise to add violence in the workplace training as there are more violent acts committed by angry employees than terrorists. Supervisors and Managers need to be aware of how their behavior, action or inaction can impact an unstable person.
        Co-workers & supervisors/managers must be mindful of how gossip, shunning, emotional bullying, dismissive behavior, removal of assignments, petty office changes,rude commets, etc. can create an unsafe work environment. As a former county employee I saw quite a bit of nasty behavior that created hardship for staff physically and emotionally but fortunately no violent reaction.

        Why should staff have to toss paperclips and coffee cups when perhaps a bit of kindness, compassion and professionalism can prevent the anxious throwing of office supplies.
        Also, sometimes people who are unstable can ruminate over their anger and return much later to creat havoc much to the shock of former co-workers. It is not wise to create any level of risk. But it’s not just training – people must walk the talk and thru leadership model the behavior that creates trust in the workplace.

        • LFOldTimer

          I.E. former angry outbursts by Nick Berardino. Now those were scary! But everyone gave him a pass. heh. But then old Nick was a club member. heh

          • Kathleen Tahilramani

            Yup, Once during a phone call he told me to F—O–.
            Just a peach of a guy!

          • LFOldTimer

            Well you’re lucky it was just over the phone. In person somebody might have had to restrain him. 🙂

          • Kathleen Tahilramani

            I hear after I left that actually happened. Many times I watched Nick, pound the table with his fists while yelling and using profane language. It was his “act” he wanted to see just how much you would take and if you had the guts to tell him to knock it off or walk-out.

        • Jacki Livingston

          Not to mention the managers and supervisors, themselves, backing employees into walls with curled fists, throwing chairs at employees for being late, or yanking things out of people’s hands. My personal favorite was the supervisor who gave an employee a ride home after they got sick at work, only to warn them that “now I know exactly where you live”. I would be far more worried about crazycakes bosses than employees.

      • threelockbox

        or the hot dogs from the OCEA weinee wagon