Retired Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Officers Ron Hartley and Andy Ross offer Active Shooter Training classes through their business Innovative Training and Consulting.

Would you know what to do when faced with an active shooter situation? Retired Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) officers Ron Hartley and Andy Ross recently helped a group of members from the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce develop a plan for that and other emergency situations and, through their business, Innovative Training and Consulting, they hope to reach many more residents.

Hartley and Ross offer Active Shooter Training courses using their law enforcement experience and extensive research on the subject to help residents prepare plans for what to do when faced with a nightmare situation.

“We work on the philosophy that you are as safe as you make yourself,” said Hartley, who retired as a Colonel with the HCSO after 40 years of service. “If we can give people a better chance of being prepared when something tragic happens and make them aware of what is going on around them, we are doing our job.”

The training focuses on making people safer by raising awareness and covering the psychological and physiological responses people have to stressful situations, in addition to telling attendees what not to do in the event of an active shooter. Classes are tailored to fit the group and include information from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

SouthShore Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Melanie Rimes attended the training.

“In light of recent events in our country, this information is extremely important and it gives you the tools you need to know to avoid further danger,” said Rimes. “We will keep offering this course through our Diversity Team for as long as we need to.”

In addition to offering classes to businesses, groups, churches and private schools, Innovative Training and Consulting also put together threat assessment plans for businesses. Classes also cover personal safety, workplace violence and gun safety.

“We hope to empower people to take a proactive approach to their own safety,” said Ross, who served as Deputy Chief of Police at Tampa International Airport after retiring as a Captain following 30 years with HCSO. For more information on Innovative Training and Consulting, visit or call 988-7765.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.