Chief Phillip Morse, Sr. and Sgt. Terrance Gainer speak to press after a security briefing held for lawmakers on Wednesday in the Dirksen Senate Office. (Photo by Roshan Nebhrajani / Medill News Service)

WASHINGTON — Senate Sergeant of Arms Terrance Gainer hosted a security briefing in the Dirksen Senate Office for lawmakers Wednesday. The briefing was also broadcast to 454 police offices.

The briefing was intended to “calm the fears” in the wake of weekend shootings in Arizona that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition and six other people dead.

Gainer said lawmakers had two key concerns: “How do you know what is a threat and how do you secure an event?” In response, along with Capitol Police Chief Phillip Morse, Sr., he encouraged increased communication between police on Capitol Hill and congressmen while they are in their local districts. “If you have a doubt, call us,” Gainer said.

In order to increase preparedness, Gainer electronically distributed documents on three key topics: reacting to a gun, enhancing safety in public venues and general security matters. The officers emphasized the importance of preplanning.