Acts of Violence - Safety Procedures

The horrific events in Paris reminds us that cultural gathering spaces can be targets of violence. While we hope you will never experience an act of violence at your organization, our partners at ArtsReady have an array of resources to help your organization improve its security and to train your staff/volunteers in key safety procedures.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has produced a video (Surviving an Active Shooter – WARNING HIGHLY GRAPHIC) portraying a number of different types of active shooter scenarios and how to protect yourself and those around you. The portrayals are very realistic and demonstrate the best actions to take in different situations. As the LACSD video states, “Even though the number of Active Shooter events has been increasing, your odds of being involved in one are still very slim. But just like fire drills and earthquake preparedness, making a plan in advance can make all the difference.” We hope you never need to utilize this information, but want you to be prepared for any possible “What if…” scenarios.

The U. S. Department of Homeland Security has published the booklet Active Shooter: How to Respond – Profile of an Active Shooter. The booklet contains advice on individual responses including evacuation and hiding out, as well as guidance on training your staff on how to prepare and respond. An array of other training resources is available through DHS, including the 90-minute Active Shooter Webinar, which describes three types of active shooters—workplace/school, criminal, and ideological—and how their planning cycles and behaviors differ.

Staff should become familiar with this Bomb Threat Checklist provided by the FBI, and keep it posted near the main phone lines in both administrative and box office/guest service areas to use in the event of a bomb threat. The information collected through the checklist can be highly valuable to the police/first responders.

Make sure you have a rigorous walkthrough process of your facility particularly on open/event days. Your staff, volunteers and patrons should regularly be reminded “If you see something, say something.” The FBI provides this guidance for Suspicious Activity, Suspicious Mail/Packages, and monitoring your site’s Physical Security.

And finally, even in the midst of terror, the arts help provide refuge and healing.


Omar Nelson



Critical Function



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