In wake of deadly California shooting, Fargo law enforcement agencies give safety tips on active shooter situations

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FARGO, N.D. (KVLY) With the recent deadly shooting at a California bar, some businesses are forced to take a fresh look at their safety practices.

Pete Sabo, owner of the Bison Turf, said safety wasn’t something he put too much attention on but Wednesday’s shooting may change that.

“With the protection we have at the door, there’s very little risk here,” Sabo said of his place.

At the Bison Turf, located at the intersection of N University Dr and 12th Ave N, Sabo said his employees can spot unusual behavior.

“Our bartenders… [and] our bouncers look out for all different kinds of signs of people coming in, if they’re overly nervous,” Sabo said.

But what should someone do if he/she is in an active shooter situation?
Law enforcement agencies in the valley encourage people to follow these three steps.

The first step is to run and escape if you can from the situation. If you can’t escape, the second step is to try to hide from the shooter. Block out doors and close binds. And if that doesn’t work, the third step is to fight your way out.

Captain, and Sheriff-elect, Jesse Jahner of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office splits his time with the Red River Valley Swat Team, where he’s an assistant commander.

Jahner said responding to active shooter scenarios has changed over the years with officers no longer having to wait for a swat team to arrive.

“The first arriving law enforcement officers that show up on scene are the ones that are going to address the threat,” Jahner said.

Last year, Jahner said his department began training emergency responders in rural areas and employees at some businesses.

“We’re trying to teach [employees] different principles on how to buy time until law enforcement arrives,” Jahner said.

The Fargo Police Department, which is also part of the Red River Valley Swat Team, has its officers practice active shooter drills yearly.

“All new hires get trained in active shooter response and how to clear buildings tactically,” Jessica Schindeldecker, public information officer for the Fargo Police Department, said.

Schindeldecker said people who have guns in an active shooter situation should lay their firearms on the floor when officers respond, because it’s hard for law enforcement to tell the difference between a suspect and Good Samaritan.

Here’s a link to more tips on how to stay safe during an active shooter scenario, ready.gov/active-shooter.