Security: Learn how to respond when bad things happen

In the 10 months since I became your new community security director, I have heard how stressful increasing antisemitism has been for many of you.
I’ve met and corresponded with most of the Jewish organizations across Oregon and Southwest Washington and with many individual community members. What I hear, particularly now, is that the rise in antisemitic news is unnerving for many. Each of us reacts to negative news and information in different ways.
Individually, responses can range from needing a social media and news break to figuring out how to be more actively engaged in the fight against antisemitism. Part of my role is meeting individuals and communities wherever they are on that spectrum.
Some feel that if they can’t change the world, they at least can make themselves better prepared for life’s situations. To that end, I offer classes online on safety and security. This has been a great way for me to connect individually with people. People feel welcome to share their concerns and stories during the training.
Most of us recognize we live in a world where bad and unexpected events can happen out of the blue. Through the trainings, I want to empower you to feel confident about handling whatever life sends your way.
I’m a firm believer that any kind of training helps the mind and body react in a myriad of situations. Training should instill the confidence  that we are prepared and capable of handling the unexpected.
Regarding safety and security training, my goal is for you to walk away thinking a little differently about your own situational awareness skills or knowing that you have the tools to get out of an emergency situation a little faster and with a cooler head. We know that the chances of experiencing an active threat are small, but feeling capable of handling contingencies such as a household emergency or a car accident you happen upon can be critical.
I hold my trainings on Zoom and generally offer morning and evening options for each class. The classes include Introduction to Situational Awareness, Countering Active Threat Training (this is also known as CATT and features training on high-stress situations and the RUN, HIDE, FIGHT model) and Stop the Bleed.  
Stop the Bleed is a national course developed by a medical team and is standardized like First Aid or CPR. This training is focused on potentially fatal bleeding, because research has shown that in these situations, people can bleed to death before paramedics arrive. Knowing these skills can give you the ability to save a life.
I also depend on community members to report incidents, graffiti, etc. – even if they seem small. We know antisemitic activity is grossly under-reported. Sharing the information keeps me in the know about what our community is experiencing. I also share the information with partners who track incidents nationally, which helps establish the basis for national programs working to combat antisemitism.
If you’re interested in these classes or want to report an incident, please visit my security page on the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland website, From that page, you can find the listing of upcoming trainings and an incident reporting form to use if you see or hear something you think I should know about. We all have the ability to do our part!
Jessica Anderson is the Portland-area Director of Community Security. She previously was an FBI agent for 24 years. This position is funded by SCN (the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America), and a local three-way partnership of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland, Oregon Jewish Community Foundation Endowment Fund and multiple Jewish organizations in the region.



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