BERGEN COUNTY - Bergen County Sheriff Michel Saudino says recent active shootings show that it is important to be prepared for the worst during all public gatherings.
Sheriff Michael Saudino and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office have been participating in a series of active shooters drills, to prepare in case a situation similar to the San Bernardino shooting comes to New Jersey.
Last year, Bergen County formed a regional SWAT team that includes armored military vehicles.
“Look what surrounded the car with the husband and wife (San Bernardino shooters Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik) and protected those officers. It was a piece of equipment just like that,” says the sheriff.
But what should a person do if they are a civilian during an active shooter situation? The Department of Homeland Security says that in the event of an active shooter situation, people should keep three options in mind: run, hide or fight.
Officials say that the first priority should be to escape the area if possible. If it is not possible, then the person should find a place to barricade themselves and stay hidden.
If it is not possible to run or hide, then officials say someone should take action and try to overpower the shooter.
"If you know the shooter is going to shoot you, what else do you have to lose?” says Sheriff Saudino. “It's that or you're going to get shot."
Sheriff Saudino also says that it is important for all law enforcement officers to have their firearm on them at all times in case an attack occurred.