The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it will provide active shooter training to all of its employees. This move is aimed at preparing employees for emergencies that may arise while on duty. For example, the incident that occurred in one of their buildings last year, along with the constant threats they receive. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the IRS active shooter training program and what it entails.
What is the IRS active shooter training program?
Ensuring the safety and security of everyone during an active shooter situation is paramount, which is why the IRS active shooter training program plays a vital role. The program is designed to prepare individuals for three important actions to take: run, hide, or fight. This response aligns with the Department of Homeland Security's recommended actions for an active shooter situation:
Run: Identify the location of the threat, quickly escape from the threat, and leave belongings behind
Hide: Block entry to hiding place, hide in an area out of the shooter's view, silence mobile communication devices
Fight: Commit to decisive and aggressive action, incapacitate the shooter, fight until the threat is neutralized.
The program provides training on recognizing potential signs of violence, identifying safe escape routes, and utilizing effective communication in a crisis. Participants acquire the skills to rapidly evaluate their environment and make swift decisions on how to proceed, such as evacuating the premises, securing themselves in a secure area, or using self-defense as a final option.
Why did the IRS decide to start the training?
This decision was made in response to the increasing number of shootings that commonly occur in the United States. In addition, last year, an active shooter at the IRS building in Memphis took the lives of four people.
The ultimate goal of the training is to mitigate the possibility of fatalities or harm caused by an active shooter incident.
The IRS has also made changes to its physical security measures to further ensure safety. All employees need to take this training seriously and be prepared in the event of an emergency.
Recommendations from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is an independent organization within the U.S. Department of Treasury. Its primary role is to oversee and investigate the IRS to ensure that it operates efficiently and effectively in collecting taxes and enforcing tax laws. TIGTA has the authority to conduct audits, investigations, and inspections related to IRS programs and operations.
With that being said, they assessed the IRS' active shooter training and provided recommendations. Some of them have already been implemented, but the IRS has agreed with all of them. Recommendations that are set to be implemented next year include:
1. The Chief, FMSS, should update FMSS OEP guidance to reflect how managers will account for staff-post events when following active shooter guidance to not assemble at designated rally points.
2. The Chief, FMSS, should coordinate with the Deputy Chief of Staff to develop processes and procedures on when and how AtHoc will be used to notify staff of active shooter events and how it will be used post-event to account for staff.
3. The Chief, FMSS, should update internal guidelines to require follow-up reports of active shooter drills or events to assess the efficacy of all actions taken to respond.
To conclude, the IRS has taken the necessary steps to ensure the safety of its employees by providing active shooter training. This training equips employees with the knowledge and skills needed to respond effectively in the event of an emergency. Other organizations should follow suit and prioritize the safety of their employees as well.