A Call for Action

February 2014


As you have read throughout this edition, the realities of our world today are a dramatic change from everything we considered “normal” in the past. Public areas and facilities have become targets for terrorist threats and violent acts. At every event, around every corner, the people in charge are working hard to protect the safety of others. Our facilities are no different, and our responsibilities to protect our employees and our customers are increasing and cannot be ignored.

The numerous and recent attacks often leave one to wonder: “What would we do if that happens here?” Instead of: “That will never happen here.” As large centers of public activity, motor vehicle offices must become more and more aware of the possibilities that an attack of a violent nature or a single random act can happen. Policies and practices must be put in place to train and educate your workforces on what to do in case of such an event. This is not to say we should create fear and anxiety, but being prepared for such scenarios will accomplish two goals: 1) It will potentially save a life; and 2) It will demonstrate to employees and customers that you care about their safety and well-being. Our employees are our greatest asset, and we should do all we can to protect them as we would any other asset.

I would also like to applaud all those agencies that have already taken action and trained their employees on the active shooter scenario. As these agencies have learned, there are many resources that you can utilize, including your own state

or local law enforcement tactical units, which can provide in-person training. There are also videos, such as the active shooter training video “Run. Hide. Fight.® Surviving an Active Shooter Event” provided by ReadyHoustonTX.Gov, that can be part of a training session as well.

As AAMVA Chair, I feel very strongly about this topic. I am asking for a Call to Action so that all executives, directors, managers and front-line personnel of our collective agencies are aware of and trained in the proper actions to take if a situation arises that could endanger staff or customers. The active shooter scenario is all too real, and every effort should be established to educate your most valuable asset—employees—in the proper actions to deal with the possibilities. 


Jennifer Cohan

AAMVA Chair of the Board