HARRISBURG PA – With 11 school shootings reported across the nation during January (2018) alone, the Pennsylvania State Police went on Facebook this week to promote its offer to provide free, two-hour active shooter response training to schools, businesses and organizations statewide that express an interest in the program.
The notice, posted Monday (Jan. 29) on the troopers’ Facebook page, encouraged readers to “be prepared and plan to survive!”
So far during the month, according to news reports, active shooter incidents have occurred Jan. 23 in Kentucky; Jan. 22, Jan. 15, and Jan 10 (separately and unrelated) in Texas; Jan. 22 in Louisiana, Jan. 20 in North Carolina, Jan. 10 in California, Jan. 9 in Arizona, Jan. 6 in Iowa, Jan. 4 in Washington (state), and Jan. 3 in Michigan.
The presentation, according to a document linked to the post, is one of several activities of the Domestic Security Section of the troopers’ Intelligence Division. It’s “designed to prepare individuals in the event they are involved in an active shooter situation,” it said, and covers all venues including “commerce, education, open spaces, places of worship and public settings.”
Instructors use audio and video clips “to get everyone into the mindset of what may occur during an active shooter situation, and try to realistically have them involved.” They also discuss “different mental strategies, as well as response tactics (so) individuals will be better prepared to not only ACT, but REACT during an active shooter event,” the document added.
Similar presentations are not new locally. Officers from many western Montgomery County police department have participated in mock shooter exercises held at some school buildings when classes were not in session. Some departments also have been actively involved in providing what is known as ALICE (Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate) training to high school students and faculty members for potential shooter situations.
Not all departments, however, have the manpower, time, or expertise to conduct such training. For those who see a need for training in their own work or social environments, the state police offer is being welcomed. In only two days the post was shared on Facebook more than 1,200 times.
To schedule an active shooter presentation, organizations are asked to provide information about themselves and make a request by e-mail only to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo from the Pennsylvania State Police