Fifty facility managers and staff from all 17 community centers, the Chattanooga Fitness Center and the Department’s Aquatics Division will join the Chattanooga Police Department for Active Shooter Training, Critical Incident Command Training, and Risk Assessment Program, in an effort to educate and prepare staff, on Thursday at 9 a.m. This training will also coincide with the Recreation Department’s incident policies and procedures and provide any additional revisions needed.
“If or when we arrive at a center where there is a problem,” says Chief Bobby Dodd of the Chattanooga Police Department, “we will know that the community center staff are prepared and responding the way we have trained them. This helps law enforcement handle the situation more efficiently and as calmly as possible.”
The presentation, which will take place at in the Community Room at the Chattanooga Police Service Center, will last approximately two hours, in an effort to discuss numerous situations and solutions to provide safety both inside and outside for public and staff during operating hours. Recreation staff will participate in live exercises and drills to help prepare for any situation. The class will also prepare staff for proper communication with emergency officials, the general public and members of the media.
“While our centers have thankfully not experienced such a tragedy,” says Greta Hayes, director of Recreation, “tragedies can happen, even in the quietest neighborhoods. The information given is invaluable, not only for staff, but for the thousands that use our centers. This also assures users of all ages that they will continue to have a safe place to enjoy all types of activities.”
Exercises will become mandatory at each facility in the future, guaranteeing all staff, both full time and part time, are well educated and prepared if an incident were to occur, officials said.