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Target expands training for employees on active shooter situations

Updated: November 14, 2019 06:18 PM

Minnesota-based retail giant Target is rolling out expanded active shooter training for its employees.

All employees at Target stores, distribution centers and headquarters will get the additional training.

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"Everybody has the ability to survive an active shooting," said Randy Ferris, instructor at Stock and Barrel Gun Club.

Ferris has dedicated a big part of his life to active shooting scenes. He applauds Target for making this move.

"I've been involved in training people to survive active shooters and workplace violence since 1994," Ferris said.

Ferris admits the demand for classes is much higher today.

"We first began doing these classes about once a year, we're now doing them monthly," Ferris said.

Target released the following statement in response to the expanded training:

"At Target, the safety of our guests and team members is our top priority and we take a comprehensive approach to safety that includes team member training, partnerships with law enforcement and the use of technology. We also consistently review our programs and security measures to help prepare for a variety of potential security situations. We enhanced our emergency preparedness and response training, as we do every year, and expanded active-shooter training this fall to include all of our stores, distribution centers and headquarters team members. The training follows the guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is something we've provided to our security teams for many years."

"It's increasingly crucial that they do so," Ferris said.

Ferris is not a part of Target's classes, but he believes it's important that the training includes teaching about being on the lookout for odd behavior, knowing where all exits are, and have the proper mindset that it actually could happen.

"Instead of going, 'I can't believe this is happening,' they switch to a mode, 'I always knew there was a possibility this could happen and I'm going to react appropriately,'" Ferris said.

As more and more companies require similar training, Ferris stressed that the information is just as crucial for the general public.

"The training allows people to be psychologically prepared and to develop a sense of determination so they will react when a problem occurs, determination is what turns a victim into a victor," Ferris said.

Target said all new employees will get this training, and it will be re-visited each year for existing staff members.

Two "surviving an active shooter classes" will be taught at Stock and Barrel Gun club over the next few weeks. The first is in Eagan on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. The second is at the Chanhassen location on Dec. 5 at 6 p.m.

To learn about how to sign up, click here.

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Brett Hoffland

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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