Chamber Active Shooter

Sheriff Jeff Dirkse, right, speaks during the Chamber of Commerce meeting on October 17, as Patterson Police Chief Marc Nuno looks on. Dirkse referenced a project he is currently working on to reduce gun violence, that will also improve interagency communication and provide law enforcement with additional tools for deterring these and other types of crimes.

As part of its service to the local business community, the Patterson-Westley Chamber of Commerce last Thursday sponsored a presentation to make local business owners aware of training they are required to provide or expand by the end of the year.

Active shooter training

In his presentation, Lindon Lilly, a former law enforcement officer, said that employers are required to provide 20 minutes of active shooter training to current employees by Jan. 1, 2020, and every two years thereafter. New hires must also be trained, and training must be provided every two years.

Lilly mentioned an active shooter video available online called “Run! Hide! Fight!,” produced by Wayne University. One takeaway: If in a building during an active shooter situation and able to, close the door and put something against it to slow down the attacker, turn off the lights, and turn off all electronics that might vibrate.

Sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention

Businesses with as few as five employees are required to provide training program in sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention (anti-bullying), by January 1, 2020.

There were a few snickers in the room at the mention of workplace bullying – until someone in the audience said that, as an administrator, they’d had to handle it. That person had to create and implement a comprehensive plan, both to address the issue and prevent future occurrences. They were also required to monitor the situation for a period of time.

Human trafficking

Patterson Irrigator readers may recall the arrest of Arcardio Lynn at the end of June, on charges related to attempting to groom a local minor for human trafficking. Lynn remains jailed on those charges.

Human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking, is on the rise.

Employees of farm labor contractors, adult bookstores, bus stations, truck stops, hotels and motels must all receive training. Employers who fail to provide such training are subject to fines, Lilly said.

Hotels and motels are also required to provide human trafficking awareness training, again by January 1, 2020.

Human trafficking victims now have the right to sue a hotel or motel, under certain circumstances. Businesses where human trafficking is likely to occur are also mandated to post human trafficking information, as well.

Stop the Bleed

Lilly mentioned Stop the Bleed, which was presented to freshmen at Patterson High School last May. The program teaches how to control massive bleeding, increasing the likelihood that a victim, whether of an active shooter event or vehicle accident or other traumatic event, will survive until first responders arrive. Lilly recommended that each business have a “go bag,” with first aid items, including tourniquets.

Patterson District Ambulance Director of Ambulance Services Paul Willette said that while “technically,” a person who wants to help someone suffering from uncontrollable bleeding doesn’t need any formal training to use a tourniquet, “obviously, some training on the topic would allow someone to help with confidence, and know how to assess if their effort was effective. I’d certainly take someone who saw it on TV or even just heard about it if I was bleeding uncontrollably,” he said.

“Stop the Bleed is a national campaign,” Willette said, “Doctor’s Medical Center (DMC) is leading the charge with community education on this and other topics.” The program will be offered again at the high school, Willette said.

Willette also mentioned CPR Saturday training offered jointly by the Patterson Fire Dept. and Patterson District Ambulance on the third Saturday of the month, which includes basic first aid, as well as tourniquets.

Gun violence restraining orders

Lastly, Lilly mentioned gun violence restraining orders (GVROs), which can be used to have weapons removed from situations where a subject may be mentally unstable.

The first GVRO was issued in Stanislaus County a few months ago. Stanislaus County Sheriff Jeff Dirkse, who attended the meeting along with Police Chief Marc Nuno, said that obtaining the order was “not a simple process.” An investigation is required, that takes into account acts or threats in the last 12 months, and takes into account things such as unlawful or reckless use of a gun, history of physical force, prior arrests, and other concerns.

The request must then go through a court process, and must be signed by a judge, Dirkse said. It goes through a second hearing, at which time the judge can then either suspend the order, remove it or leave it in place for a longer term.

Dirkse said the GVRO is “a useful tool,” because “there are folks out there that are clearly mentally unstable. We need to have that tool in place, to seize their weapons. Even though I’m a fan of the second amendment, I do support that tool.”

A member of the audience asked what would happen if a GVRO was requested but never issued; Dirkse said the request will stay on the record, but will show as resolved.

During a discussion on carrying concealed weapon (CCW), Dirkse said about 6,800 CCW permits have been issued in Stanislaus County, and that he revokes “a few a month,” generally because the holder has received a DUI, or has been arrested for domestic violence.

Upcoming communications project

The sheriff also discussed some of the ways that his department monitors potential criminal activities, explaining that there is need for even more effective communication between his department and other agencies, such as the police departments of the individual cities in the county. He is working on a solution he believes will be in place soon, but declined to officially release the details at this time.

About the chamber

The Patterson Westley Chamber of Commerce is “looking at further opportunities to have informative community events,” Chamber Treasurer Joanne Marci said. The chamber is currently working on next year’s Community Calendar. For more information, please visit the Patterson-Westley Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center page on Facebook.

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