So far in 2016, as of February 5, exactly 1,187 people have been killed by guns in the United States. Of those deaths, 287 were children under the age of 17. In the first 10 days of the 2016 over 100 people had been shot in the city of Chicago alone. So on January 27, FirstService Residential held an active shooter seminar for their employees, property managers and the tenants in the buildings they manage.
“In society today we see more and more of these active shooter situations, some on larger scales than others. We felt it was our duty to put on a training program that would be valuable for our clients, managers, and engineering maintenance staff,” says Asa Sherwood, president of FirstService Residential Illinois, “It had been brought up a bit before Paris and San Bernadino, but those attacks had pushed this to the forefront and we decided to do it now.”
While the first of these seminars from FirstService had been held in Chicago, there are plans to roll it out to the rest of their markets across the country.
“When this came up and we started talking about it, once we started working with [Bill Leap, vice president of security services at Titan Security], we started talking to the other markets we work in and we will be rolling this training out in other markets,” says Sherwood.
Tragedy Hits Home
Shootings in condos, co-ops, and HOAs haven’t made national headlines, but they have occurred in recent years. In 2012, an HOA president in Kentucky had been shot and killed over an ongoing argument with the board over the height and design of the alleged shooter’s fence. In 2004, in Chicago, a resident had been evicted from his condo due to rule violations which included the installation of parquet floors, allowing transient tenants, and failing to pay the condo’s assessments and fees. He shot the condo board president and another resident.