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‘That Helped Save Lives’: Mass Shooting In San Jose Highlights Importance Of Workplace Safety Training

CBS Los Angeles logo CBS Los Angeles 5/28/2021 Syndicated Local – CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — In the wake of a mass shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, there is renewed focus on workplace safety training.

a person standing in front of a building © Provided by CBS Los Angeles

Amar Singh of San Jose places a candle at a vigil organized by HERO Tent, following the mass shooting at the Valley Transportation Authority light-rail yard, outside City Hall on May 26, 2021 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Philip Pacheco/Getty Images)

Doc Elliott, the president of Phoenix Training Group in San Marino, said he believes that while workplaces cannot be totally prepared for violence or shootings, they can mitigate the chances of it happening.

“They do the active shooter training because it’s the law,” he said. “The reality is it does save lives.”

His company provides workplace violence prevention programs and even active shooter drills to government agencies and private companies.

“We go through the warning signals, we go through the methodology, we go through the psychology, the behavioral profiling of what makes up somebody like this,” Elliot said. “Then what we do is we typically follow that up with a drill.”

Video: Mass Shooting In San Jose Highlights Importance Of Workplace Safety Training (CBS Los Angeles)


These types of drills are something Santa Clara County officials say prevented the number of casualties from being much higher.

“They really are confident that helped save lives especially in terms of teaching people how to hide, how to engage, and all of those other steps that unfortunately we’re becoming used to learning about,” Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez said.

As for the shooter, VTA employee Sam Cassidy, Elliot said there were signs that something was going to happen. Elliot said employees need to feel that they can speak up if they hear about a coworker making threats.

“The warning signals were there, but nobody said anything, because you’re dealing with somebody you work with,” he said. “And so, people are hesitant because they don’t want to get in trouble, they don’t want to get fired, they don’t want to get somebody else fired, they don’t want to create a problem, and so it’s getting that ability to say something without reprisal.”

Elliot also said many people have lost access to mental health resources, making it that much more important for companies and organizations to create an environment where people feel comfortable seeking help.

“They don’t have those outlets,” he said. “There’s so many problems today. It’s just that people just don’t have the access to resources like they used to. And If there are more resources, there would absolutely be less people going off.”

Elliot believes that workplace active shooter and violence prevention training should be mandatory for all workplaces — public and private. He said that his organization is working to get state and federal legislation passed.


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