Laurel city employees have participated in active shooter training sessions held by the Laurel Police Department to prepare for any potentially dangerous scenario, according to city officials.

During the four sessions, held Dec. 16 and 17, city spokeswoman Audrey Barnes said police officers educated 193 city employees on the "run, hide or fight" protocol if they should encounter an armed disgruntled worker or intruder while at work.

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"We want to train employees on how to respond in a rapid and consistent manner if they find themselves in a serious situation, whether they're at work or off the job," said Police Chief Richard McLaughlin in a statement provided by the city. "Creating that muscle memory--making their response second nature--has been proven to reduce casualties. It can be a life saver."

In his statement, McLaughlin likened the employees' training to the techniques taught to teachers and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary school in the Newtown, Connecticut, prior to the shooting on December 14, 2013, where 20 children and 6 adult staff members were killed.

Videos, role playing and group discussions were also incorporated into the training sessions, Barnes said. In addition to city employees, several Laurel businesses have also been offered training.

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