Police give safety talk

Photo and story by Catherine Stachowiak

Officer Esteban Olivares from the Kern High School District talked to the Kern Valley Exchange Club about strategies for escaping attacks in potentially violent situations, Thursday May 30, at Paradise Cove Lodge.

Aside from his many years as a police officer, Olivares is an independent threat assessment and security consultant who specializes in campus, and public facility safety. 

Olivares’ speech was regarding potential violence including mass violence. He said as civilians it’s important to know about a run, hide, and fight strategy dealing when dealing with violence.

He brought up the difference between cover and concealment. Cover is something that would stop a bullet. If a wall or item would stop a bullet, it is cover. Concealment is something that would hide the person from view.  

Olivares said that running from a mass shooter would not necessarily keep you from being hit.  Therefore running and dodging for cover and concealment would make a person more difficult to hit in the event of a mass shooting or other violent confrontation. 

He said it’s imperative to hide like a pro. Turn your cell phone on silent.  Turn the lights off and barricade yourself from the source of violence.  Barricading doors is helpful in a run-hide-fight strategy.

He also said to stay distant from windows, because if they break you can get harmed.

The officer said to keep fighting and don’t fight fair, doing all you can to neutralize the threat. 

Olivares said, “I always like to wear and nice big belt wherever I go. I like to carry a pen that’s made of metal. I like to wear shoes with shoe laces.” These can be used as tools or weapons of defense.     

The officer said every business or residence should have a plan.  He said if a mass violence occurs don’t call your family. Call 911, and if you can’t talk, keep 911 on the line so they can hear you and find out your location.

He also said that having a license to carry, pepper spray, or a tazer could be good tools for survival of a violence event.