VBPD hosts first public Active Threat Citizens Defense workshop

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Aurora are all places and events that are forever remembered in history. If you’re ever in a similar active threat situation, what would you do? Saturday, the Virginia Beach Police Department put that question into practice.

It takes about 1.5 seconds for a trained person to react to an active threat. For someone who’s not trained, it could be closer to 4 or 5 seconds — seconds that could be the difference of life or death.

“In a time when every second counts, you would like to have a plan,” says Master Police Officer David Nieves. Nieves wants to close that time gap. That’s why he and the Virginia Beach Police Department held the first public Active Threat Citizens Defense workshop Saturday morning.

Nieves said, “Maybe with this class, they remember some things.  It would cut those seconds down and those seconds are important between surviving an incident and becoming a victim.”

They’ve already educated more than 4,000 people through their Crime Prevention Unit.  Saturday’s workshop gave new people the chance to learn something that could one day save their lives.

Virginia Beach resident Jamie Ehlers said, “My wife and I really want to be a part of our neighborhood.  We want to be able to see what’s going on and recognize what’s going on, and be able to do something.”

About 150 people attended the event, which was four hours long and included specific and interactive ways to diffuse active threats.

For more information on the Crime Prevention Unit, visit their website.