Committee brings in pro to discuss active shooting preparedness

Published 6:34 am Friday, April 27, 2018

Various business and government departments listened to the importance of active shooter preparedness on Thursday, as Gregory A. Howard, protective security advisor for Kentucky, spoke at the meeting of the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

“This type of subject that we’re dealing with, especially, can occur anywhere. I always tell people, you have a better chance of lightning striking than this happening, but you need to be prepared,” he said. “You need to be thinking about what would you do in the event that this occurred? It doesn’t matter where you’re at … Why not be prepared?”

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Because of that, Howard teaches the active shooter preparedness and response trainings to a wide variety of audiences.

“It can be public or private sector groups. We try to give them an idea of the characteristics of an active shooter, how they can respond to it and some materials that can help them when it comes to building their own preparedness,” Howard said.

Many resources, he said, can be found on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website at

The protective security advisor position is through the federal government, Howard said, as part of the United States Department of Homeland Security, and covers more than just active shooter drills. Howard explained that protective security advisors are better described as “critical infrastructure specialists.”

“We do physical security assessments and training … We work on everything from water plants, to stadiums, to malls, to the whole gamut. We try to help people build their security and resilience,” he said.

That includes doing security surveys, which means visiting the locations to evaluate their strengths, weaknesses and ways to improve. Howard said they don’t generally visit schools, that’s more of a state level thing, but his agency does visit manufacturing plants and government offices, too.

“It’s a wide spectrum,” he said.

Howard said one of the key parts of being prepared for any situation he covers is “maintaining situational awareness.”

What might be a hazard. What might be suspicious. And reporting that behavior — we’re really hot on doing that,” Howard said.

The phrase “see something, say something,” is still very relevant, he said.

Howard said it was also a good idea to have an individual plan.

Situation awareness, he said, applies to anything, whether it be preventing an active shooter or even something less widespread, like personal safety.

“Think about the kids you see going through town with the ear phones in their head and (head down). They have no situational awareness at all. The only awareness they have is what’s going through those earphones,” he said.

That aside, Howard said “We don’t want people to walk around in a constant state of paranoia.”

Instead, he said, just be aware.

Brian Borguno, a volunteer with Danville-Boyle County Emergency Management, was recognized for his dedication to the department. Borguno is moving out of state with his family, to move closer to other family members.