After a year — like so many before it — filled with news reports of mass shootings, Atlanta employees and elected officials are now required to undergo annual active shooter training.
Atlanta City Council passed an ordinance requiring the training at its meeting Monday. The vote came two weeks after two gunmen opened fire at a party in southwest Atlanta injuring two Spelman College students and two Clark Atlanta University students. Atlanta police are still looking for the second suspect in the case.
“People are afraid, and in that moment, people don’t know exactly what to do,” Councilwoman Marci Collier Overstreet said of the rising number of shootings in public places. “Sometimes it’s a better practice if you’re given the chance to go through training at least once a year.”
Overstreet sponsored the ordinance, which will require training for all part-time, full-time and contract employees of the city.
The city’s human resources department will maintain and enforce the training, which often includes drills and tactics on how to remain safe during a shooting. The city has not set a budget for the cost of the training or set an agenda for the classes, but Overstreet said Atlanta police will be a part of it.
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Active shooter training courses have become more common in recent years, particularly in workplaces and schools. City police departments have offered drills to residents, the most recent being in Dunwoody following two mass shootings in August that left more than 30 people dead.
In recent weeks, a gunman did a drive-by-shooting in Midland and Odessa, Texas killing eight and injuring 25. Last year, there were 27 active shooter incidents in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center. In recent weeks, a gunman did a drive-by-shooting in Midland and Odessa, Texas killing eight and injuring 25. Last year, there were 27 active shooter incidents in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center.
Overstreet hopes the city’s ordinance and similar ones translate into better regulated gun laws.
“I think it’s time for meaningful gun legislation,” she said. “We’re having entirely too many active shooters killing senselessly and it is time for us to really demand that his type of legislation is put on the floor on a national level in the Senate.”
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