Boro Park’s army of bus drivers received their first training session in how to deal with violent threats on the school bus.
About 250 drivers attended the session on Monday evening, which was organized by the newly formed Bus Transit Association and which took place in Bais Yaakov of 18th Ave. The subject, how to deal with an active shooter on a bus, was presented by retired Missouri State Trooper Capt. Garry Moore.
Moore, a 34-year law enforcement veteran, currently works for the Center for Education Safety and is an active Marshal for the Missouri Supreme Court.
Yitzchok Ber Wollner, president of the Association, began the program.
“Almost 50,000 children step foot on 275 school buses in Boro Park every day, bli ayin hara,” Wollner said. “The school bus driver is the first person that a parent hands over their children to, entrusting them with their precious gems and hoping for a safe return. … Therefore, we believe that every school bus driver must be rigorously trained on safety procedures.”
Moore’s two-hour course started with actual footage and 911 recordings of the Alabama school bus driver shooting incident that occurred on Jan. 28, 2014.
In that incident, a man killed a bus driver, took a child hostage and fled to a bunker, where he held the youngster hostage for six days. The FBI negotiated with the hostage-taker, before killing him and rescuing the child.
Moore then explained how the driver should have acted to prevent being shot and taking a child hostage. Drivers should recognize JDLR’s (Just Doesn’t Look Right) and watch for out-of-the-ordinary situations,
Inspector Philip Van Gostein, of the NYPD counterterrorism unit, said that it was very important for all drivers to develop a plan if they see something suspicious and know how to respond.