Many times the A.L.I.C.E. training regarding surviving an attack by an intruder is thought of as being offered to students and teachers in the public schools.
But area business owners were encouraged to think outside the box and develop plans in preparation for an attack on their staff or customers.
The information was presented by Sgts. Scott Holbrook and Dwight Underwood from the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office at the Lunch and Learn session sponsored by the Chamber and Business Alliance at the Kenton Elks Lodge.
A.L.I.C.E. is the training program offered by the sheriff’s department to prepare the public for physical attacks.
It stands for alert, lockdown, information, counter and escape.
Most public buildings in Hardin County are relatively easy for an invader to enter with a variety of weapons, said Holbrook.
Generally speaking, when a gunman attacks a school, they are hoping to cause a high number of casualties, said Underwood.
When an attack takes place in a business, the intruder is looking for a specific target.
He asked how many of the businesses represented have a policy requiring employees to report domestic problems at home.
The need for such a policy, said Underwood, is not to single out the worker, but to prepare the entire work force to be on the lookout for anything unusual.
The intruder may know the details of the store or office, he continued, such as the floor layout and work schedule.
It is important for the business owners to consider the safety of not only their workers, but also of their customers, Underwood said.
To better protect both, he said, a plan is needed to communicate information once an attack is underway and in advance of the intrusion.
He demonstrated methods of counterattacking an armed robber or enraged invader.
“We are taught not to hurt people,” said Underwood, “but you should train your employees to do whatever they need to do to stay alive. Stab with a needle. Run over them with your car.”
The tactic may just work long enough for help to arrive, he said.
One of the greatest weapons available to most anyone in a public building is a fire extinguisher.
The unit can be set off into the attacker’s face or used as a weapon by striking the gunman with it physically, said Underwood.
“A fire extinguisher is the greatest thing in the world,” he said.
“I encourage everyone to have one near them.”
The sheriff’s office is willing to inspect county businesses to evaluate their security, said Holbrook.
The inspection comes at no cost to the owner, he added, and provides the business with short-, medium- and long-term goals for their consideration.