City Parks and Recreation officials cited "recent events in the nation" as prompting a round of active shooter training, which will be administered to more than 50 city employees this morning by the Chattanooga Police Department.
Managers from all of the city's 17 community centers, along with workers from the Chattanooga Fitness Center and the Aquatics Division, will participate in the training, which focuses primarily on methods for interfering in the event of an active shooter.
Brian Smith, public relations coordinator of the Parks and Recreation Department, said the training was not in response to any local events.
"[This] is a growing trend for recreation departments in the U.S.," Smith said in an emailed statement, which also described the efforts as a "proactive" approach.
Workers will be presented with best methods for responding to an active shooter in the early stages of an attack, prior to intervention from law enforcement officials. Topics will include threat assessment, how to best find cover and techniques for safe evacuation when possible.
The group will also receive "critical incident command training" and participate in "risk assessment." The training will include live exercises and drills.
In a news release, Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd expressed confidence that the training would help to adequately prepare city workers for how to best respond to a scenario the city hopes it never has to deal with.
“If or when we arrive at a center where there is a problem, we will know that the community center staff are prepared and responding the way we have trained them," Dodd said. "This helps law enforcement handle the situation more efficiently and as calmly as possible.”
The training, which will take place at the Police Service Center, is not open to the public or members of the media.