Crime concerns; businesses seek security training

 Active shooter training at Alaska Career College
Active shooter training at Alaska Career College (KTUU)
Published: Sep. 22, 2017 at 2:25 PM AKDT
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Anchorage businesses have growing concerns over crime in the city, and the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce will host "active shooter training" at its Make it Monday forum on Oct. 2nd.

"It's in front of us everyday and people are very concerned" said Bruce Bustamante, president of the Anchorage Chamber. "People are very worried about this, and so we want to do what we can in providing education for our members, and this is a step in doing so."

Chamber officials say those concerns were magnified after last week's murder at a local paint store.

The training session will be conducted by employees of the Avitus Group, a business consulting firm. "From businesses, a lot of them honestly are like 'we don't have a clue, we don't know where to begin, we don't know what the steps for follow through would be ' " said Scott Stender, a security consultant for Avitus.

Stender, a former police officer and SWAT commander, conducted an active shooter training session at Alaska Career College on Friday morning. "I think it's really important" said Linda Sture, campus director. "It's an awareness for all of us, not only while we're at work, while we're in school, for the grocery store, for the movie theater or wherever, we are with our family and friends and our coworker, to help us stay safe and secure, as much as possible."

Stender stressed the importance of having an escape plan ready in advance of a threat. Stender told students and employees that if they come face-to-face with an attacker and can't escape, fighting back is the key to survival.

"You don't ever give up" Stender said. "I've seen it in police officers, they give up. I've had friends of mine that have died because they gave up, and you can't ever give up."