How Barron Co. authorities train citizens for active threats - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

How Barron Co. authorities train citizens for active threats

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Rice Lake (WQOW) - Officials in Barron County want to make sure people are prepared for an active threat. That's why they're offering training to everyone for free.

"It can happen anywhere at any time, and we just want people to be prepared," said Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald.

For nearly two years, Fitzgerald's department has done what it can to prepare people for an active threat. 

"That's what it's all about to law enforcement is keeping people safe, that's our job," he said. "In today's society we need lots of help to do that, and that's why we offer this training free of charge."

Fitzgerald said so far they've held more than 70 training sessions around the area and 14 more are on the schedule. 

"It's not shooting a gun, it's not doing karate moves or any ninja moves or anything like that, it's just how to react if something were to happen," Fitzgerald said.

On Wednesday, employees at Kitchen and Floor Decor in Rice Lake took advantage of the free training. They learned things like the best way to flee a threat, and when, and how, to over-power a shooter.

"It's not a topic, or fun topic, to talk about, but being educated on this and knowing the things you can do to help your community out, I think is a good thing," said Carrie Glaser with Kitchen and Floor Decor. 

Law enforcement and the store's owners said the lessons that they learned shouldn't just be used while they're at work, they're meant for every day life.

"Hopefully that we never need to use it here, but if they can take this information and this education out of here and take it with them no matter where they go," Glaser said.

"We hope it never happens, but in today's society we just don't know that answer," Fitzgerald added. "We can't predict that, so we need to prepare the citizens and I think that's what we do well here in Barron County."

Fitzgerald said the free training is available to anyone, not just businesses or big groups. 

You can contact the Barron County Sheriff's Department here.

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