Staying safe: Training for active assailant/workplace violence threats

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

Workplace violence and active shooter situations are becoming all too familiar scenarios —and Lt. Sergio Garcia from the Jackson Police Department is helping businesses and other venues to combat these potential threats.

In addition to serving on the JPD, Garcia started his own business two years ago. Paradigm Situational Awareness Training offers site walk-throughs, policy and procedure development, interactive training and scenarios specific to each locale.

“I have a skillset and passion of the subject matter to help give the community knowledge that could save lives,” Garcia says. “Having served in law enforcement for over 22 years, I’ve noticed a gap in the training available on how to prepare and respond to active shooter situations and workplace violence—a subject matter that’s becoming all too common.

“It doesn’t discriminate and we can’t pretend it could never happen in our place of work, schools or churches.”

Garcia says that working under his Paradigm business lets him bridge the gap between what law enforcement trains and what people need to know. 

“Paradigm gives me the platform to reach a wide range of people and to help offer thought-provoking material that can hopefully increase awareness and promote safer outcomes,” he says.

Garcia notes this type of training is long overdue. 

“Burying your head in the sand and hoping you never find yourself in this type of situation is dangerous,” he says. “People don’t volunteer to be victims—they are many times chosen randomly. We can’t control the behaviors of others but we can absolutely control how we respond. This training empowers people to take charge and make decisions to save their lives as well as the lives of others.” 

Paradigm has provided training throughout Michigan to dozens of places of worship, schools, colleges, hospitals, and manufacturing plants, as well as many other businesses ranging from 30 to 900 employees. 

“Employees are always receptive to the training and my clients always receive positive feedback,” he says. “The training I provide is custom and unique to the venue I’m instructing—however the core training is something you can take with you and utilize whether you’re at work, out shopping or having dinner with your family. I provide people with the tools necessary to make decisions that could save lives.”  

Garcia encourages people to become more vigilant—to take a break from the cell phone and get back their Situational Awareness.

“Pay attention to your surroundings and who and what is going on around you,” he says.  “We don’t choose to be victims but we can change the outcome by knowing what to do and how to respond.”

Garcia adds Paradigm is 100% customizable to fit the needs of each customer, and prices are more than competitive. “I’m not a salesman who is going to try and sell you security upgrades,” he says. “We’ll build on current infrastructure and improve together.” 

Garcia wanted to be a police officer from boyhood. “I’m not sure when or how it started as no one else in my family had a law enforcement background,” he says. “It was something I wanted to do for as long as I can remember. I guess I just wanted to help people and make a difference in this community.”

Garcia earned a degree in criminal justice and corrections from Siena Heights University in Adrian, as a way to attain his goal as a police officer; and also has attended the School of Staff and Command at Michigan State University.

Hired as a police cadet in Jackson at the age of 18, he has more than 22 years of experience as an officer, and has worked as a CRAC (Community Resistance Against Crime) team member, detective, sergeant for patrol/investigations, undercover investigator on the Narcotics Enforcement Team, and achieved his goal of becoming an operator on the Jackson Special Response Team in 2004. He has held many different assignments on that team and worked his way up to Team Commander. 

“It’s a great deal of pressure and pride to command such a group of selfless individuals who are willing to put themselves in harm’s way for their co-workers and community,” he says.

Garcia also enjoys serving as firearms coordinator for the department. “It allowed me to take the program to the next level,” he says.

“I take a great amount of pride in the firearms training as well as pushing officers to challenge their limits. It’s a discipline I hope the officers never have to use but I take a great sense of pride knowing they are capable of protecting themselves as well as the members of this community.”

For information, email Paradigmsat@gmail.com or call 517-745-5758.


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