by Mike Knaak
St. Joseph Police Chief Joel Klein urged business leaders Wednesday, April 11, to develop a plan for active threats.
Klein spoke at the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce meeting a week after an attack occurred at the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, Calif.
“We like to talk to businesses. What is your plan? Have you thought about what you’re going to do or do you think it’s not going to happen to me?” Klein said.
Klein and Officer Matt Johnson shared suggestions that have been developed while working with schools that can be applied to business situations.
Strategy has evolved from hiding in a corner of darkened room to a more active response around the concept of run, hide, fight.
The officers urged businesses to discuss the topic with employees, develop a plan and train.
There are some basic steps to take. Check to see if 911 calls are going to the correct dispatch center and that the 911 screen information lists the correct business address, they suggested. Businesses should work with their alarm company and law enforcement to check that alarms also show the proper information.
The plan should include assessing doors, windows and escape routes.
Klein said the new text-to-911 service is a good option if the caller doesn’t want to speak. But he pointed out that until the system is fully implemented, the calls are routed through Mille Lacs County to Stearns dispatch.
Call if you can, he said, otherwise text. And don’t hang up because dispatchers can hear what’s going on even if the caller can’t speak.
“We need to stop thinking that it won’t happen to us. When it comes time, you won’t know what to do. You may think you do, but do you actually know what to do?” Klein said.