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More programs train workers to respond to a shooter

Noel King Dec 4, 2015
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Participants barricade a door of a classroom to block an 'active shooter' during ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) training at the Harry S. Truman High School in Levittown, Pennsylvania, on November 3, 2015. ALICE is designed to educate local and school-based law enforcement, as well as administrators, teachers and others about the research-based, proactive response approach to violent Intruder events.
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images

The “active shooter” preparedness training is usually some variation on: run, hide, and, as a last resort, fight. And, anecdotally at least, more companies are finding it to be a necessity.

“We’re getting more inquiries, we’re getting more phone calls, both from new clients and from other clients we’ve done work for,” said Michael Crane, senior vice president at Hillard Heintze, a security firm that has done the training for casinos, hospitals, and resorts.

Industrywide statistics on how many companies have done the training are hard to come by, and prices for the training are all over the map. One prominent example though is Wal-Mart. The nation’s largest employer began training workers earlier this year using a video that was made in conjunction with the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University. 

“Wal-Mart had seen that the active shooter threat was a real potential threat,” said Pete Blair, Executive Director of ALERRT. “They’ve had some incidents happen in some of their stores.” 

For now, this type of security training appears to be a growing industry, in spite of the regrettable reasons underpinning its growth.

“I’ve seen many of these events occur,” said Greg Crane, President of the ALICE Training Institute, which has specialized in active shooter training since the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School. “[After] every one of these events, we get more calls.”

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