NRF Has ‘Active Shooter’ Guidelines for Retailers
Because of the frequency of shootings like the Aurora, Colo., attack, people might wonder if retailers have a plan for such emergencies, and in fact retailers do. According to a July 20 report in the Denver Business Journal, retailers have guidelines for “active shooters,” set in place in 2008 by the National Retail Federation (NRF), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement agencies.
The NRF added a 20-page document to “active shooter emergency response guidelines” in 2011, including protocols and online training programs called “Active Shooter: What You Can Do.” The program details 14 previous retail shootings since 2005, including the incident that wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a Tucson, Ariz., mall.
Additionally, the guidelines offer a profile for what previous shooters have been like: a sole, male attacker that is a member of the community, often with a professional or academic relationship to one or more victims.
James Holmes, the alleged shooter in the Aurora attack, fits many of the profile characteristics in the NRF’s guidelines.
“I’m hesitant to say this is a trend, but it’s been one of those things that keep repeating themselves,” Richard Mellor, VP of loss prevention for the NRF, said.
For retailers or employees, the guidelines are to first assess the situation and then to react—either by hiding out or evacuating, or by attempting to intervene.