Madison College’s School of Workforce and Economic Development, with the assistance of law enforcement instructor Brian Landers, is now offering safety training courses for businesses, schools and child care centers.
The next school safety training in Madison will be on Tuesday, October 30 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room 229 at the Madison College Protective Services Building.
The September active shooter incident at WTS Paradigm in Middleton demonstrated that companies and places of business are as likely to be on the receiving end of violence as schools. While school safety remains important, the recent shooting has made employers want to re-examine their own policies and bolster their ability to respond to incidents and threats.
Landers will be leading a training course on Incident Planning for Childcare Centers on November 12 in addition to the 8 hour courses that will be happening on multiple Madison College campuses (Fort Atkinson, Truax and Portage) during the last week in October.
For Landers, safety in the workplace and school revolves around how prepared and trained employees are to handle a variety of situations.
“One thing we offer is generalized training on how to deal with workplace issues and violence not just active shooters. So, irate customers, managers, how to deal with and spot potential problems with employees. Personal awareness and how to recognize and react to potential threats,” Landers told Madison365. “Having a plan so that if something does happen, employees don’t freeze and do nothing. We role play. One of the main things we stress is that there are other threats besides active shooters out there.”
Landers said that in addition to the training sessions available at the college campuses, they are also offering on-site training for any businesses that are interested. Training is available for employers and employees centered around the themes Landers pointed out, but he is also providing infrastructure for the types of technical systems places need in order to provide security.
“We are having experts come in and talk to employees but we also do a degree of physical assessment of the workplace,” Landers said. “Looking at critical incident and evacuation policies, things like that. It can be things like providing blueprints of the building to law enforcement, having a plan to help people with special needs find exits. Those are things that can help speed response time.”
Making sure employees feel empowered to bring observations to their employers is a vital step as well. Landers said that employees sitting in their cubicles or classrooms see plenty of things that security teams might not be seeing. Employees need to understand the importance of speaking up, using their eyes and ears, but also having a plan of action.
“You can surround the building with the highest trained swat teams and have all kinds of security systems. It doesn’t mean that your building is safe,” Landers said. “All you have to do is look at incidents that have happened in highly secure prisons or jails. So as much as we’re trying to help employee safety, employees have to take the responsibility themselves.”
The hospitality industry, child care centers, large corporations, private businesses and schools are all sending proposals Landers’ way that he is in the process of reviewing.
Anyone in any of those industries who wants to participate in the training at Madison College or have a training team come on-site should contact Brian Landers at 608-393-3491.