Active Shooter Training for Huntsville-Area Officers

By: Stephanie Ando Email
By: Stephanie Ando Email

The movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado and the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown have a lot of people asking how these acts of violence can be prevented. Now a group of law enforcement officers in Huntsville are trying to provide an answer by means of an intense, active shooter training exercise.

“Going all the way back to Columbine, the old idea was you set up and wait for S.W.A.T. to come in. We learned really quickly that was not the way to work. You’ve got to go in and save lives,” said James Fitch, Deputy Chief of the Sam Houston State University Police Department.

Instructors with the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (A.L.E.R.R.T) at Texas State University held the Active Shooter Response Training at SHSU-The Woodlands Center Monday.

The training was scheduled months ago, but instructors say recent mass shootings have given local law enforcement officers a new sense of urgency to learn how to quickly stop an aggressive, violent gunman.

“I don't think there's anything you can do to prepare for that kind of tragedy, but we're doing is giving them historical S.W.A.T. tactics,” said Terry Nicohols, A.L.E.R.R.T. Assistant Director.

Officials say Sam Houston State University and Huntsville Police, Walker County Sheriffs deputies, and State Inspector General officers are training together, because they'll have to work together in a dangerous, active-shooter situation.

“We all hope that this never happens in our community. If it does, you want the officers trained and ready to go,” said Deputy Chief Fitch.

The Governor's office funds active-shooter response training for officers across the state.

Instructors hope to hold the second part of the class in a few months. That class will teach officers basic medical skills, so they can help shooting victims before paramedics arrive.

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