By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO — Clayton County emergency personnel will be tackling workplace violence Monday night.
The Office of Emergency Management is offering a safety class from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. geared toward violence on the job, said fire Capt. Walter Barber.
It is the third look at an "active shooter" scenario in Clayton County this year. In January, Jonesboro Police Department spearheaded training at Suder Elementary to prepare for an in-school shooting. Last month, Clayton County Board of Commissioners planned a defense in case of violence during a meeting.
Monday's class is open to the public and will give employees a chance to learn what to do in the event of a violent situation at work, said Barber. Clayton County Office of Emergency Management Director Jeff Hood, who is also fire chief, said preparation is vital.
“With the concern of large-scale acts of violence in the workplace, it is vital that citizens be prepared," said Hood. "Clayton County’s Office of Emergency Management is dedicated to ensuring that county residents and those earning a living in Clayton County are educated and able to handle not just weather-related crisis, but emergencies of all kinds.”
The free class will be taught at Clayton County Fire Station No. 13 at 264 N. Main St. in Jonesboro. Ryan Morrison, OEM planning officer and a POST-certified officer, will be the instructor. He said most active shooter classes focus on law enforcement personnel and their actions. Monday's class uses a different approach.
"We will be focusing on helping individuals recognize potential workplace violence indicators, prevention, planning and how to manage consequences after an incident occurs," said Morrison. "Our goal is to make individuals more aware of their surroundings and allow them to plan a possible scenario of events to escape.”
The class will also highlight Federal Emergency Management Agency's "Active Shooter: 'Run, Hide, Fight'" campaign and cover what to do and expect when the police arrive.
“Our goal in public safety isn’t just to respond to emergencies but also to educate the public," said Barber. "This class will better equip those that attend with options of what to do and what not to do to greatly increase their chances of a positive outcome in a very negative situation.”