Hoping to help save lives in the event of a mass shooting, a Los Angeles police sergeant Thursday said the city is looking to hire a marketing firm to help promote its active shooter training program to the private sector.

Sgt. Kyle Campbell of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Valley Bureau helps run the program, said to be a collaboration of various city departments and some private sector partners.

The program already has reached an estimated 18,000 L.A. residents and workers, but Campbell said he hopes to reach many thousands more through the help of a strong marketing campaign.

“The program is a civilian response to an active shooter, and what are some simple, easy steps you can take if you have an active shooter,” Campbell said.

The city’s Emergency Management Department recently put out a request for proposals for $138,199 to develop a ready-to-go training kit for use by individuals already trained through the program, along with marketing and developing a full-scale exercise with community stakeholders to practice the program’s teachings.

Campbell said the central theme of the program is “Run, Hide, Fight.”

“The first thing you want to do is run to get out of there if you can. If you can’t, you hide, and then as a last resort, you fight,” Campbell said.

The program was developed by the Department of Homeland Security and the Houston Police Department a number of years ago, Campbell said.

The LAPD initially adopted the program for its civilian employees but quickly saw the value in bringing the training to other city departments and to private sector companies.

Campbell also said much of the program was developed by officers and city employees fitting it into their otherwise busy schedules and that no city employee is dedicated to it full time.

Financially the program was put together with “shoe strings and duct tape” and its PowerPoint presentation was put together “by a bunch of guys and gals in a back office; there is no professional touch to it,” he said.

Despite the pieced-together nature of the program, which is free to any private company that is interested, the city has been able to train employees at Universal Studios, CBS, NBC, the Dodgers and others.

“I have really ambitious goals for the program that we could reach hundreds of thousands of people, but it just doesn’t work like that I am discovering. So we need some sort of marketing help,” Campbell said.

More than 200 people already have been trained to teach the program, centered at the Valley Bureau, with about half being active police officers and the other half from the private sector.

–City News Service

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