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With two mass shootings in the past 12 months in Harford County, I recently participated in a special Civilian Active Shooter Training session sponsored by the Sheriff's Office.

Taught by Deputy Tom Wehrle, a SWAT/Sniper Team Coordinator, the session was part of an update for alums of the Harford County Citizens' Police Academy. As a resident of Harford County and a candidate for County Council District C, I attended the Citizens' Police Academy because I feel it's important to know the workings of a community, especially departments that take up a large part of the budget and offer vital services.

I was eager to engage in the update training. As the advice was presented, it struck me as being similar in ways to the advice offered by many famous people on how to be successful in life.

The overall message in the course was to be pro-active. Start by checking out your environment before an incident occurs. At work, where are the exits, how do the windows work, where are the light switches, are there fire extinguishers ( they make good weapons), can doors be locked? How do they open? Barricading the door doesn't work if it opens towards the shooter. These things should be considered in other places where applicable, such as a hotel, school, theater, restaurant, etc.

Hiding is not the first option. Most of the time, you're setting yourself up to be a fish in a barrel. You need to take action.

The number one thing to do is RUN. You are eight to nine times more likely to survive by running than if you stay put, according to Deputy Wehrle.

The four-hour session was packed with valuable information and at times, it was unsettling because of the difficult choices you may have to make. How true of life.
The good news is that this training is now available to the public. For more information on the Shooter Training or the Police Citizens' Academy, call Special Operations at 443-409-3262.

I hope I never have to use this information, but in the meantime I am practicing at least one of the major tenets, by not hiding, but RUNNING for office as a candidate for Harford County Council, District C.

Karen Kukurin for Harford County Council C

Authorization, Friends of Karen Kukurin, Treasurer Rita Scharmann

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