VANCOUVER – An eight-minute video simulating a shooting at an office has been produced by Vancouver police to help prepare people if an active shooter were on the loose.
The city’s police chief believes the video is the first of its kind in Canada, although they have been used by Homeland Security and others in the United States.
“By making this video, we are encouraging people to take responsibility for their personal safety,” Adam Palmer told a news conference on Wednesday.
Deadly events like mass shootings or random stabbings are rare in Canada but they do happen, he said, adding that three people were injured in a shooting near the city’s Science World in 2014.
Palmer compared the video with earthquake preparation.
“We’re not trying to fear monger or anything like that,” he said. “I just think that putting our head in the sand and pretending that everything’s going to be fine also isn’t an option.”
The video advises people to run, hide or fight, depending on the circumstances.
“Escape if you can. Hide if you can’t. Fight if you must,” Sgt. Jason Robillard says on the video.
It takes time for first responders to arrive, so people need to know how and when they can protect themselves and others, Palmer said.
The police force is also encouraging businesses and organizations to make sure they’re prepared, and it’s asking hotels and offices to put together packages with maps, key cards, and updated employee lists that police might need.
The video is on the department’s website and Palmer said he hopes it spreads elsewhere to help educate a wider audience.
Plans for the video began about 18 months ago during police training for such a situation and was not spurred by any specific threat to the city, Palmer said.
The video was funded by the Vancouver Police Foundation and cost about $20,000.