Security Experts Look At Local Mall Preparedness For An ‘Active Shooter’


UPDATED: Wednesday December 12, 2012 5:59 PM

On Tuesday, a gunman killed two people and himself in a shooting rampage at an Oregon mall.

A local security expert said that malls in central Ohio don’t often think about an active shooter situation.

“I think most people prepare for other instances like fire, bombs than they do for active shooting in this local area, as far as I can tell,” said Dean Boerger.

Boerger runs Ohio Security and Protection in Columbus which provides security to malls and other businesses.

Other experts said mall security can only do so much.

“It helps in the aftermath, it helps in the response, it does not do anything to intervene to circumvent or prevent,” said Joe Lasorsa, Executive Protection Specialist.

Those who hire security guards for shopping malls told 10TV that security in malls in central Ohio is not equal. Some malls have the money to pay for trained officers while others do not.

But they say even with trained officers, there's virtually nothing you can do to prevent someone with a gun.

“Most private security don't have that training or that skill,” said Boerger.

Lasorsa  is a former secret service agent, and he said that tackling mental illness is the first step to stopping these types of shootings.

“It's going to get worse, the more mentally ill people we have living among us that are not incarcerated or controlled, the more situations we're going to have,” he added.

The executive director of the National Association of Mental Illness for Ohio issued a statement in regards to mental illness and violence.

"99 percent of the 536,000 people in Ohio who have a major mental illness are good citizens. We have to do a better job of treating people with mental illness in the country which has never been a priority. If you suspect someone with a mental illness may be dangerous go to law enforcement and request a crisis intervention officer,” said Terry Russell, NAMI of Ohio.
 

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