Fight or Flight: Columbia Police prepare the public for an active shooter

Columbia Police held two sessions Saturday to train the public how to react to an active shooter.

The Columbia Police Department held two informational sessions Saturday intended to prepare the public on how to react in an active shooter situation.

School Resources Officer John Warner, who led the seminars, said that he thinks tragedies like the Sandy Hook shootings sparked concern in the public and a need to be prepared.

"I think that the Newtown shooting probably as much as anything else made people sit up and go 'oh, if it could happen to young kids in a school setting, then who else could it happen to and how can we best protect ourselves?" he said.

Hallsville resident Jane Unger, who attended the first session, said that we have to be prepared to act before and until the police arrive.

"For us to think that the police are always gonna be there to save us and to help us as soon as that phone call is made is kind of narrow minded," Unger said.

While there were a few hands-on demonstrations, the majority of the session revolved around the mentalities of all involved parties.

"[We] give them some background as to how we make decisions and how we decide to do things and then sort of fold that into how a person who's intent on hurting them is going to act and react so that we can get inside of that process a little bit and give ourselves some survival options," Warner said.

Those options are, for the most part; fight, flight or lockdown.

Both sessions were packed, and Warner said that because of the good turnout he expects that they will hold more in the future.