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Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Coordination
Active Shooter Program
United States Department of Agriculture


USDA Whitten BuildingThe occurrence of active shooter events are so prevalent, unfortunately they have become a daily part of our lives. Since they are unpredictable, evolve quickly and most incidents are over within minutes, we must be prepared to respond until law enforcement arrives.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines an active shooter as an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. While the majority of incidents involve the use of firearms, the term “active shooter” also encompasses an individual armed with any other type of weapon (e.g., knife, explosives, vehicle).

The “active” aspect of the event inherently implies that both law enforcement personnel and citizens still have the potential to affect the outcome of the event based upon their responses.

As a result, the USDA Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Coordination (OHSEC), in collaboration with the USDA Security Council and USDA Executive Leadership, recently launched an Active Shooter Program. The intent of this department-wide initiative is to promote increased employee awareness and preparedness. Additionally, this program brings USDA into compliance with a Federal mandate that all Executive Branch departments with non-military facilities provide active shooter training for their employees as well as institute and exercise response plans for each facility.

According to the 911 Commission Report, “Training is the most fundamental element in preparing to survive a violent event.”

“USDA Executive Leadership is committed to the security of its employees and facilities. I believe this training is important.”
– JT Stroud, Program Manager / Instructor

Awareness, preparedness, and training are the keys to helping protect employees, visitors, and ourselves. Furthermore, it is highly recommended that all employees be familiar with their facility’s Occupant Emergency Plan (OEP) and Active Shooter Plan, and voluntarily participate in scheduled exercises and drills.

Our hope is for employees to be engaged in discussions and training on decisions they may have to make in an active shooter situation.