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Local company offers active shooter training to teachers, students

Two local retired law enforcement officers started the company four years ago to help teachers, students, and staff protect themselves if a tragedy like this on
Published: May. 25, 2022 at 7:12 PM EDT
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WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - One local company has trained multiple schools in the area on how to handle an active shooter situation.

Two local retired law enforcement officers started the company four years ago to help teachers, students, and staff protect themselves if a tragedy like this one were to ever take place here.

John Nettis started the company Protective Advanced Safety Services with another retired police officer. They train businesses, places of worship, and schools on how to handle an active shooter situation.

“In 7 months, we did a thousand and forty-eight staff,” Nettis told us. “That’s teachers, paras, nurses, kitchen workers, custodians, and four thousand students.”

Nettis said they start by showing the staff and students how to control their breathing and remain calm in dangerous situations.

“If we couldn’t help the staff manage their own anxiety, they wouldn’t think clearly through these events,” he said.

Then, he teaches them how to survive.

“How to run, and if you can’t run, how to hide and barricade,” Nettis said, “and if those two aren’t available to you, we are teaching them strategies in fighting or countering.”

The company started four years ago when Nettis realized something had to be done as more and more mass shootings took place across the country.

“If you have children, you’re responsible for them, but you’re also responsible for going home at the end of your shift, so you’re responsible for your family,” Nettis said. “These are some hard conversations we need to have.”

Just one day after the shooting in Texas that claimed the lives of more than a dozen students, teachers and school staff are looking for answers. How do they talk about this tragedy with their students?

Western Mass News reached out to local elementary schools, and the principal of Sgt. Robert R. Litwin School in Chicopee told us, quote:

“We are holding our students a little closer today and loving them a bit more. I addressed the staff this morning via intercom prior to the students arrival and reminded them that our students need their love and support more than anything on days like today.”

Many other schools also took this opportunity to remind their students, staff, and families of their safety protocols in place to prevent situations like these.