The recent shooting in Orlando reminds all Americans that the threat of violence exists in our communities. The ideology or motivation behind each attack may vary, but in common we have seen an evolution toward more independent, unaffiliated attacks inspired by extremist groups. Extremist individuals can find inspiration and encouragement through social media with geographically dispersed but like-minded extremists.
These tragedies often leave people, and particularly business owners or those organizing public events, wondering what they can do. The Department of Homeland Security’s Hometown Security initiative was created to share tools and resources for small and medium size businesses as well as people who organize public gatherings that extremists may consider appealing and easily accessible targets. Through this initiative, we encourage community partners to Connect. Plan. Train. Report.
- Connect with a local Protective Security Advisor or first responder
- Plan for emergencies, including active shooters
- Train your employees and exercise your plans
- Report suspicious activities
DHS’ Protective Security Advisor program consists of approximately 100 advisors around the country that support security planning in coordination with government and private sector partners. They also conduct vulnerability assessments, coordinate training, and support event security operations. I encourage businesses and organizations to reach out to the PSA in your community.
We must take an active role in ensuring the security and resilience of our communities, and we must do this in a way that preserves our civil rights and American values. I encourage you to visit our Hometown Security page and learn more about what you can do to help keep your community safe and secure.