Police offer threat assessments and training to Bristol companies

By Scott Pickering
Posted 5/7/21

There’s more than one way to catch the bad guys. Police officers can catch them in the act, catch them after they commit the act — or they can stop them before anything even happens. The …

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Police offer threat assessments and training to Bristol companies

Posted

There’s more than one way to catch the bad guys. Police officers can catch them in the act, catch them after they commit the act — or they can stop them before anything even happens. The latter is a primary objective in a training program the Bristol Police Department is offering to any organization or business in the community.

Well-known for their active-shooter trainings in schools and daycare centers, the police extend that same service to private organizations, companies and faith centers. If asked, Bristol Police will analyze and assess facilities in town, provide recommendations for safety improvements, and conduct training for the people who run or work in those organizations.

A major focus of the training is recognizing warning signs before they escalate into something dangerous.

In a slideshow being released today, the Bristol Police Department describes how Covid-19 and the stressors of the past year have led to increased levels of depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors and substance abuse throughout the population. They say the trend over the past few years is that the number of threats is rising, along with the lethal nature of those incidents. The police hope to prevent the next one from happening.

The presentations states: “We know that persons intent on committing active threats usually show pre-incident behaviors that can be observed and reported … It is imperative that if we see something, we say something, alert law enforcement or workplace staff before a situation escalates.”

The presentation states that in nearly half of past incidents, the perpetrator showed warning signs before the incident to indicate they were a threat to themselves or others.

Chris Vitale, Bristol’s economic development coordinator, is working with the police department to help publicize this public service. He said both Chief Kevin Lynch and Town Administrator Steven Contente are proud to offer the threat assessment and training throughout town.

“Unfortunately, these incidents can happen anywhere,” Mr. Vitale said. “You think your business or organization is safe, but unfortunately we live in a time where anything can happen.”

The police do not have a one-size-fits-all program, so they will adapt their assessment to each unique situation. They urge anyone who would like help developing a security plan to contact Capt. Scott McNally (ext. 215) or Lt. Steven St. Pierre (ext. 211) at the Bristol Police Department at 401-253-6900.

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Meet our staff
Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.