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Hancock County seniors learn ways to deal with active shooter

About 60 Hancock County seniors listen to a presentation on responding to an ‘active shooter.’
About 60 Hancock County seniors listen to a presentation on responding to an ‘active shooter.’ Special to the Sun Herald

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department Seniors and Law Enforcement Together Council hosted the group’s first event of 2017 recently with a presentation on how seniors should respond to an active-shooter situation.

The group of about 60 senior citizens, gets together for three or four information-sharing events each year to help seniors with life issues.

Past topics have included credit-worthiness, reverse mortgages, and Alzheimer’s awareness.

SALT attendees March 15 at the Lakeshore Community Center on Lower Bay Rd. enjoyed a fried catfish lunch and a presentation by John Ohman, who is certified in firearms training and self-defense.

Ohman discussed how seniors should respond if they encounter a situation involving an active shooter.

He encouraged them to be aware of their environments and take note of exits. His talk detailed a fundamental strategy: Run, Hide, Fight. Fighting, he stressed, is a last-resort strategy.

“There is a low probability that you would ever encounter an active shooter,” he said. “Don’t change your lifestyle.”

“I hope that I would never be in a situation like that,” said Emmoline Burton of Bay St. Louis, “but this helps by giving us some direction.”

“The biggest thing is to hide or leave,” said Frank Hille, a retired Bay businessman. “I have heard similar presentations like this before, but it is good to get refreshed.”

Organizers strive to keep the information sessions topical.

“With all the stuff in the news regarding school shootings, some of the older citizens are not necessarily up to date on this,” said SALT facilitator Frank McNeil, who is a retired New Orleans Police Department investigator and retired Bay police chief. “We thought we’d put together a program that if something happened, maybe they were at a shopping center or some other place, and somebody did come out with a gun and started shooting people, it will give them an idea of what they might do to protect themselves.”

The group’s next session will be a Senior Information Fair on May 17 at the Bay St. Louis Community Center, 301 Blaize Ave. Vendors that cater to seniors are asked to call Candy Brister 228-209-8729 or Arlene Johnson 228-467-9292.

If you go

What: Senior Information Fair

When: May 17

Where: Bay St. Louis Community Center, 301 Blaize Ave., Bay St Louis.

Vendors that cater to seniors are asked to call Candy Brister 228-209-8729 or Arlene Johnson 228-467-9292.

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