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Quijano Brings Together Federal, State & Local Officials to Train Community for Active Shooter Incidents & other Emergencies

Seminar Held at Kean University is Part of Ongoing National Preparedness Month Events

As part of National Preparedness Month, Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Chair Annette Quijano (D-Union) hosted a readiness event at Kean University last night to help train houses of worship and local organizations to respond to public safety threats and emergencies.

Quijano brought together officials from FEMA, the NJ Office of Homeland Security and State Preparedness, the American Red Cross – North Jersey Region, and local law enforcement and firefighters for a seminar that included active shooter preparedness instructions and the Red Cross’ “Are You Ready” preparedness program.

In attendance were members of several religious denominations, local non-profit organizations, and elected leaders. The event, one of several Quijano has hosted in recent weeks to mark National Preparedness Month, was unique because it incorporated the active shooter component and brought in experts to educate and train the community’s leaders of faith to prepare their congregation for emergencies.

“With more active shooter incidents occurring on campuses, in houses of worship, and other public gatherings, it’s extremely important that we prepare members of the community to respond to these types of incidents in a way that will help minimize tragedies and promote public safety,” said Quijano. “By bringing together relevant stakeholders from the federal, state and local level for this one-of-a-kind training we were able to educate local leaders on the resources in place to identify who their security coordinators are and how to start preparing their congregations or organizations to react during an incident.”

The active shooter education component included training and resources on awareness, incident response, and workplace violence to better prepare individuals to deal with an active shooter situation and to raise awareness of behaviors that represent pre-incident indicators and characteristics of active shooters.

In addition to training local leaders for security threats, Quijano also brought in the Red Cross to encourage attendees to prepare for other emergencies, such as hurricanes, snow storms, and power grid losses. The Assemblywoman also provided the audience with emergency preparedness “to go” bags.

Quijano also noted that the state holds a workshop to train security officials for houses of worship, which she plans to host for the Union County area in the future.