GREENFIELD, Ind. (Jan. 13, 2016)-- In the coming weeks, all county employees in Hancock County will receive active shooter training. The move is prompted by active shooter incidents across the country, the most recent in early December in San Bernardino, California.
The county assessor stepped up and said the training would be helpful.
“We have a very open concept here, and the staff is in full view of the counter when anyone walks in,” said Mary Noe, Hancock County Assessor.
Noe showed FOX59 around her office in the courthouse annex building. It’s your typical workspace, with staff cubicles and two public counters.
“If someone comes in, we have a first line of staff that comes in to greet you,” she said.
But when you deal with money and property value, sometimes those walk-in customers show up angry. And in an age of active shooters, for Noe, it’s frightening.
“We’ve had raised voices and shouting and name calling a little bit and even some threatening one liners that you just don’t know when they walk away, if they’re serious,” she said.
She went to Hancock County Sheriff Mike Shepherd before the holidays with her fears. He went to commissioners and just got approval for active shooter training for more than 300 county employees in all offices.
Shepherd said the worries aren’t far-fetched.
“They’re just concerned about what would happen if somebody did get mad and started shooting,” he said.
In fact, the courthouse annex building, where many offices are, has an open lobby and anyone can walk in. Shepherd said the county is currently tightening security measures in the courthouse itself.
He and another deputy will attend training later in February and then offer it to county employees.
“It’s reactive to what’s happening in the country, but we’re being proactive in our own community,” he said.
Shepherd said other organizations, like churches, have expressed interest in some sort of active shooter training, as well. It could be offered to them after it’s offered to county employees, he said.