Discussing correct responses in an active shooter situation is not enjoyable. However, given recent incidents across the country and in our great state, make it a topic that cannot be ignored.

The responsibility stretches throughout a community to learn the best action plans to protect human life in a possible “what if” encounter. To educate the public, the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office and the Nacogdoches City Police Department will present an Active Shooter Forum in cooperation with the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corp. and the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce.

State Representative Travis Clardy will address the audience near the beginning of the program.

“We are all wondering how we would respond if ever confronted by such a situation,” Clardy said. “While we want to believe we would respond bravely and appropriately, there is no substitute for being prepared. The Active Shooters Forum is a forward-thinking effort to arm business owners and the general public with lifesaving practices and responses based on experience and sound research.”

Attorney Paul Robbins, Texas School Safety Center chairman of the board and East Texas Peace Officers Association past president, explained that “the average person needs to know how schools and law enforcement are going to react to an active shooter. Knowledge, in this context, is the power to respond to a threat.”

Other components of the forum include a Law Enforcement Roundtable Discussion, a Threat Assessment presentation, Stop the Bleed program overview, and a presentation covering Standard Response Protocol and Standard Response Operations for businesses.

The participating speakers are experts in their fields, who will bring years of experience and cutting-edge expertise to different aspects of emergency response.

FBI Agent Jeff Anderson will provide a Federal Law Enforcement perspective to the forum.

The Associate Director School Safety Readiness at the Texas School Safety Center Jeff Caldwell heads the newly legislated division for partnering with every school district in Texas to determine threats and provide schools with the resources to reduce and eliminate those threats.

Nacogdoches Police Department officer and SWAT Commander Bill Kennedy will discuss tactics and procedures when engaging active shooters.

Certified Protection Professional Robert Hurst will provide training into Standard Response Operations, a program mandated and funded by the Governor’s Office.

Chris Klingenberg, M.D., will demonstrate what the average person can do to save lives when someone has been shot or severely injured.

Breakouts for specific interests will offer opportunities for deeper discussions and question and answer sessions, and resource tables will have takeaway information available.

“This is one of the most important topics today. Everyone should take a deliberate, personal effort to ensure their safety and the safety of their friends and family,” Robbins said. “The forum will describe the tools needed and will put those resources within the reach of those attending. Although nothing can keep anyone 100% safe, but knowing what to do, can increase your chances of surviving an active shooter encounter.”

The Active Shooter Forum is from 8 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Dec. 5 at the Nacogdoches County Exposition & Civic Center. The forum is free of charge, but registration is requested. Call the Nacogdoches County Chamber for reservations, 936-560-5533.

The public is asked to submit questions and topic suggestions now by sending an email message to chamber@nactx.com. Submissions will be considered for session discussions.

Kelly Augustine is the Executive Vice President at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce.

Kelly Augustine is the Executive Vice President at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce.

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