NYPD: Your Desk Won't Save You From a Shooter

Try a filing cabinet if you can't get to a safe room, department suggests
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2015 6:15 AM CDT
Police officers participate in an active shooter drill move down a hallway in a college classroom building in Salisbury, Md.    (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

(Newser) – Most mass shootings happen in the workplace and most of them are over before police get there, according to the New York City Police Department, so workers need to know how to react. The NYPD held a training session for members of the media yesterday in response to last week's TV shooting in Virginia and journalists were told to follow officers' instructions and forget about asking questions if they are caught in the middle of a mass shooting, NY1 reports. The NYPD says people should remember "ABC" for Avoid, Barricade, Confront: getting away from the shooter if you can, barricading yourself in if you can't, and confronting them only a last resort, as set out in a department safety pamphlet.

To expand on the "Barricade" part, reporters were told to get "as many layers at they can" between themselves and the gun and were shown a video demonstrating how a typical wooden desk provided no protection against two commonly used handguns, a shotgun, and an AK-47, reports NBC. A filing cabinet, however, withstood fire from everything but the AK-47. The NYPD, which suggests workplaces set up "safe rooms" with thick walls, says it studied more than 200 events to come up with its survival recommendations, which include setting your phone on silent instead of vibrate when hiding. (A University of Alabama reseacher says his study explains why America leads the world in mass shootings.)

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