Desoto County News

Stopping active shooter violence in the workplace

Photo: Sgt. Tre Price of the Olive Branch Police Department speaks at Wednesday’s Olive Branch Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon. (Bob Bakken/

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were 61 active shooter incidents in the United States just two years ago. At first blush, it does not seem like a lot, but it has been part of a rising trend in suc moments, according to the FBI. The 61 incidents was a 52.5 percent rise from 2020 and a 96.8 percent jump from 2017. With the increasing trend, it’s likely 2022 even eclipsed that figure, although the FBI had not posted the 2022 figures as of this time.  

The website has recorded 24 mass shootings already this year between late March to April 11.  

These numbers are meant to reflect the increase in violent incidents, the need to stay alert, and to know what to do when an active shooter is nearby.  

Sgt. Tre Price, Community Relations and Social Media Specialist with the Olive Branch Police Department, spoke to the Olive Branch Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon Wednesday at Whispering Woods Hotel and Conference Center.  Price spoke to local businesspeople about the need to be aware and ready in case such an event takes place.

“We live in a time where we have to think ‘not if, but when it will happen,'” Price said. “As law enforcement, we are trained to go directly to the threat. We tell citizens to get away from the threat.” 

Price introduced those in attendance to a training program offered by the police department for active shooter situations.  It’s a program Price said is growing in popularity requested by businesses and groups to learn what to do in case a shooter show up and threatens harm.  

“We’ve been doing this training for many people, distribution centers, churches for their church security teams,” Price said. “We have done it for banks for bank security and we also started training the employees for the City of Olive Branch.”

Price said the top three stressors that might set a shooter off to do harm are mental health crises and they come to a breaking point, financial strain, and job-related stressors. Price said the program becomes like a football playbook, reflecting on his high school and college background as a football player.  

“In our training we not only talk about statistics from active shooter events and how to respond but we speak on how to preserve safety in our work places,” Price said. “We talk about how to report workplace violence and the importance of having a workplace violence policy in place.”

Price then went on to show one of the videos used in the program using the key words “Avoid, Deny, Defend.”

“If we find ourselves at that point, those three steps will play in our head,” Price said. “We don’t want anybody to walk around in fear but, be aware but not scared. That means you have a different level of awareness and we have to live life with a different level of awareness.  We live in a real world where are many unfathomable things going on.”

Price said he will speak to any group wanting to learn more. Interested people should contact Price at the Olive Branch Police Department.  

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