CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Two seconds. Police say, on average, that’s how long you get to make a decision in an active shooter situation before getting killed.
On Friday, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers taught active shooter training to an especially vulnerable group in our community -- the hearing-impaired.
The sounds of gunshots, shouting and general commotion are warning signs you’re in the path of danger. However, in an active shooter situation, many people in our community can’t rely on their hearing.
“If an active shooting were to take place, I don’t want to be frozen in place. I want to be able to defend myself and help the people around me,” Brenda Freeman, community accessibility specialist with the North Carolina Division of Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing explained.
CMPD Lt. Steve Huber came out of retirement in 2015 to teach the active shooter course. He along with Officer Jonathan Frisk train people every week.
“Well over a hundred in the last year,” Frisk said.
The requests have picked up considerably since the Parkland, Florida deadly school shooting.
“We’ve had so much happening in the world today that it feels like something that we really needed,” Blaire Johnston signed.
Friday's group learned to run, fight back and barricade as a last resort.
“With reading the captions, I’m seeing what’s happening at these shootings. They’re shooting people at their work, at school. And I’m thinking my daughters, Katrina and Janice, I don’t want people to hurt them,” Brenda explained.
There have been 249 mass shooting events in the U.S. between 2000 and 2017. However, less than one percent of all businesses conduct any survival training course. CMPD officers prepare hundreds for the worst, praying they never have to use what’s taught in the course.
“We train everybody. It doesn’t matter if you have any type of disabilities. We want everyone to be prepared if they’re ever faced with an active shooter to make sure they have the best chances of getting out alive,” Frisk said.
If you are interested in taking the active shooter training course, email Officer Jonathan Frisk. Much of the summer is already booked. You can also find online courses by Googling: "deaf active shooter training."