Join Commerce Chenango: Preventing Targeted Violence To Keep Our Community Safe
Published: March 17th, 2023
By: Tyler Murphy

NORWICH – In late April Commerce Chenango will host a series of training sessions with a former FBI veteran to share awareness and information on how to recognize and deal with potentially dangerous situations.

The seminar will especially offer proactive advice involving businesses and organizations dealing with concerns over confrontations with active assailants.

A retired FBI agent with over thirty years of experience, Joseph R. Testani, will conduct two days of training on how to identify and prepare for an active assailant before a business or organization is faced with a real-time emergency situation.

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On day one, April 26, the session will focus on all types of business and mental health organizations.

Commerce Chenango President and CEO Sal Testani attended a similar training in a nearby county with local officers and school officials, and he then sought to bring the program to Chenango, part of which also covers state-mandated training to police and the schools.

“The training centers on recognizing behaviors of those people who may be a threat to others and getting them the help they need before it escalates to violence. The training actually covers the differences between targeted and spontaneous,” he said.

The first day day is tentatively planned to go from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The presentation itself would be from 11:00 a.m. to noon, followed by lunch and networking from noon to 1 p.m.

“We have asked Nina’s Restaurant to cater the event. The venue itself holds approximately 150 people, and we anticipate it will be sold out,” said Testani.

The details are still being finalized, but to attend the lunch members will pay $15 and non-members $25.

On day two, April 27, there will be a much more in-depth training that will be provided to all Chenango County school security personnel.

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This training is all day and is mandated for all counties by the State of New York. Former FBI Agent Testani has provided training in several counties throughout the state.

The chamber is working with the head of Norwich Central School District Safety Wes Mills and coordinating with Chenango County Sheriff Ernest R. Cutting.

“We expect this event to be well received and very well attended, and will be of great value to our local businesses, mental health professionals, and schools in Chenango County,” said the chamber president.