LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A community effort from Metro has started in the form of a training course on active assailant response. The course is to help educate residents and prepare them for an emergency, which doesn’t have to involve a firearm.

According to metro police, the first step in true self defense during any violent emergency is to run.

“Run and if you are not able to get away, you hide. You need think ‘Where are the best places to hide?'” said Officer Sal Mascoli on the first steps in a violent emergency. “Also improvised weapons around your area. If you have no place to go and you can’t hide, what are you going to do?”

Officer Mascoli has been spearheading the department’s active assailant response training at the Spring Valley area command. He told 8 News Now about important life saving tools he says everyone should be aware of.

“Right now, the focus is active shooters, but it could also be an active assailant. Here in Vegas, let’s go with a homeless person that decides to walk into a business and many have blades.”

The free course has been ongoing, but Officer Mascoli says public interest grows when mass shootings happen, which puts both las enforcement and other safety departments on alert.

“Everyone is more aware of their surroundings and suspicious activities and people are reporting that so it can be investigated,” said Eric Golebiewski, the vice president of security at Caesars Entertainment.

Public safety was also one of the key focuses during the Vegas Chamber’s gathering Wednesday afternoon in honor of June being Safety Awareness month.

“We are contracted by our clients,” said Jonathan Alvarez, the chief of Protective Force International, “We cover our private property jurisdiction and ends at the clients property line, but we work hand-in-hand with law enforcement.”

Officer Mascoli said that in any emergency, staying focused is crucial.

“Take care of yourself so you can take care of other people.”

The training course is free and happens every month. Attendees should RSVP in advance by emailing More information can be found on the Metro website.