Seminar to cover safety, lockdown in the workplace

April 3, 2013

From “Seminar to cover safety, lockdown in the workplace” — 

“If you don’t think it can happen where you work, think again.”

That’s what Sgt. Shena Kohler with the Rock County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management said about making a plan for a potentially deadly situation in light of recent mass shootings.


She is encouraging people from education, business, healthcare and just about any organization to attend a seminar on forging an emergency plan held by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with Blackhawk Technical College (BTC). Jesus Villahermosa, from Crisis Reality Training, will give a seminar titled “Staff, This is a Lockdown.”

This training seminar will focus on active threats of violence, mass shootings, lockdowns and emergency planning. It will be held at BTC’s central campus, 6004 S. CTH G, Janesville.

The sessions will be held April 29 and 30 from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Seating is limited to 150 each day. There is an April 26 deadline to register.

Otherwise if people go to the website, they can click on “Upcoming Seminars” and go to “Staff, This is a Lockdown” to see the listings for BTC.

The cost is $109 per person, but Kohler said it’s worth every dime. Calling Villahermosa an amazing and powerful presenter is an understatement, she said.

“You will walk out of that training ready to go and to hit the ground running,” she said.

The objectives of the workshop include: teaching employers and employees about what a lockdown plan is, demonstrating why every work place needs one, examining realistic considerations in developing the lockdown plans, empowering the employee with knowledge of the plan and providing those on scene with the necessary tools to increase their survival rate.

Kohler said it’s important not to forget the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., as well as the many mass shootings at schools, movie theaters and businesses.

For example, there have been six mass shootings in Wisconsin since 2004, with two of them being just last year.

In August of 2012, a gunman shot six people and injured four others at a Sikh temple south of Milwaukee before killing himself.

The Azana Spa shooting occurred in October of 2012 when a gunman accused of domestic violence went into his wife’s workplace in Brookfield, Wis., shooting three and injuring four before killing himself.

Kohler highly encourages teachers and school administrators to attend. Although the Sheriff’s Department will look over school district plans and bring up suggestions, it’s ultimately the school district’s responsibility for emergency preparedness. With many school districts reaching out to the Department, she said the seminar was brought to Rock County to help give the latest information on best preparing for an emergency situation.

Kohler also encourages those with malls, big box stores, places of worship and other organizations to consider attending as well. She said it’s important for school districts, businesses and other organizations to communicate and said the event is likely to generate much conversation on preparedness.

Being prepared starts with agreement about who would be called in a crisis situation. Kohler didn’t want to give too much away about the seminar, but said that some of the commonly held beliefs about preparing and lock downs may be challenged.

Jesus M. Villahermosa, Jr. has been a deputy sheriff with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department since 1981. He is currently a Sergeant for the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department serving in the Patrol Division at the South Hill Precinct after serving as the Supervisor of the Court Security Division of the County/City Building for four years where he coordinated and supervised the security for high profile criminal and civil cases.

He also served 15 months as the Director of Campus Safety at Pacific Lutheran University in a contract partnership where he worked all security aspects related to staff and student safety at the University. He was the first certified Master Defensive Tactics Instructor for law enforcement personnel in the state of Washington and was also a Firearm’s Instructor. He has been on the Pierce County Sheriff’s S.W.A.T. Team since 1983 where he currently serves as the point man on the entry team.


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