A Jacksonville business network is partnering with local law enforcement and emergency services to help local businesses know what to do in the event of an active shooter incident.
The Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting an active shooter seminar this month to help member businesses lessen the chance of an active shooter event happening at their business or organization.
The seminar will be presented by members of the Jacksonville Police Department and Jacksonville Morgan County ESDA. ESDA Director Phil McCarty says it comes as no surprise that after recent events in Highland Park, Illinois, and Uvalde, Texas, an active shooter event is at the front of everyone’s mind.
So we want to provide an opportunity for businesses in the community to talk to the police department and our agency on best ways for prevention and mitigation for events of active threats. As well as what is our, from the government’s side, what our response is going to be. And if we are so unfortunate to have one of these events, how can we work together with a business and with the community to try to recover faster.”
President of the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Musch says, unfortunately, it is a timely topic that the Chamber of Commerce’s business and education divisions feel needs to be addressed for business owners at the local level.
“It’s really kind of focused on the preventative measures that businesses can take to maybe prevent this from happening. Everybody’s going to have different policies and practices if it does happen, and at that point in time it’s already happened and you can’t do anything to prevent it.
But we thought we’d talk about preventative measures, and there are some interesting things in talking with a couple of the police officers about what you could think about as an employer, or as an employee about your colleagues and how you can mitigate some of those things.
So we are anxious to offer that to our members, we’re happy to have that opportunity and then it also presents them with the opportunity to talk to the police department, and ESDA, so that they can maybe can come up with some actual strategies for their own place of business. And if they want to dive deeper into that, they can do that after the seminar.”
The seminar will be held at noon on Tuesday, August 23rd at the Chamber Office located at 155 West Morton Avenue inside Community Park. Musch says if a large number of member businesses register, the seminar will be moved to accommodate the crowd.
McCarty says the seminar in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce is just one of the ways that city officials are doing everything they can to prevent something like an active shooter event from occurring.
“We as a city, all the way from the top office of the mayor all the way down through his department heads and everybody, we are always focused on making this community a safer place. So if there are concerns, if there’s ways that we can do to make us all safer together, the stronger the leadership we have, the better we are in the community.”
For more information on the seminar or how to become a Chamber member, call the office at 217-245-2174, or via the contact us page at jacksonvilleareachamber.org.