Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Washington Capitol Employees Train For Active Shooter Scenarios

Get out. Hide out. Take out. That’s the lesson employees at the Washington state Capitol got Wednesday in a class on active shooters. The refresher course comes in the wake of recent high profile shootings in the Northwest.

The sign on the door to the legislative hearing room said it all: “Workplace Violence Prevention and Active Shooter Survival.” About 50 state legislative and executive branch employees showed up for the lunch hour training.

The message: if there’s a shooter, first try to get out of the building. If that’s not possible hide out. Failing that, consider taking out the shooter.

That’s what happened in last week’s shooting at Seattle Pacific University.

Here’s a SWAT officer speaking in a video that was shown to the Capitol employees: "If he comes into the room, and you got nowhere to go, there’s 20 of you, got at him, take him, do the best you can."

The training at the Washington Capitol was run by Andy Staubitz, a former police officer now in charge of security in the state senate.

"We make people unhappy sometimes and so from a security standpoint there’s that less than one percent that I’m concerned about," Staubitz said.

Guns are allowed in Washington’s Capitol and there is no security screening to enter the statehouse or other legislative buildings.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."