What is Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events Training?

The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training organization (ALERRT) made up of representatives from the Texas State University, the San Marcos Police Department, and the Hays County Sheriff’s Office came into existence as a direct result of the Columbine High School tragedy in 1999. This incident demonstrated a need for increased training for first responders and civilians alike in active shooter response. Since its inception in 2002, the ALERRT organization has become a national leader in civilian response to active shooter events (CRASE) training. In 2013 the FBI adopted their model and began providing “train the trainer” courses nationwide for law enforcement personnel. The program is designed around the simple acronym ADD which stands for AVOID, DENY, and DEFEND.

The West Columbia Police Department, under the direction of Chief Dennis Tyndall, has officers that specialize within this program and have received training from Texas State University. Their expertise in this matter gives them the ability to offer this training to civilians city-wide. The ADD acronym is the hallmark of the program and is offered as a stand-alone block of instruction or in conjunction with other blocks. This is all dependent on the needs and the interests of those requesting the training.

Who can request training?

This training is available to any business, house of worship, school, or other venue located within the City of West Columbia city limits. If interested in applying, please contact Lieutenant Marion Boyce (803) 939-3182 or jboyce@westcolumbiasc.gov for more details about how we can meet your training needs.

Is there a cost for this training?

No! This training is offered as a public service to our community and as such this training is completely free. Given the demand for this training, we will make every effort to accommodate as many requests as possible realizing we may not be able to meet all requests.

What training blocks are available?

We offer several training blocks designed to reinforce the ADD acronym to include:
• Power Point Lecture (pre-requisite to the other blocks)
• First-Aid
• Scenario Based Training
• Safety Assessment Walk-through of your Facility
These training blocks are designed as stand-alone blocks that can be taught independent of each other or as a collective whole depending on the needs of the requesting entity. Note however that the lecture block is a prerequisite to the other blocks (with the exception of the safety walk-through) as it provides a much needed foundation. Each block is approximately one hour in length with the full course taking four to five hours to complete. If scheduling is an issue, we can arrange to present blocks on multiple dates. We are limited only by staff availability and your schedule.

Where does the training occur?

Believing learning is maximized when civilians train in areas they are most familiar, we strongly encourage that the training takes place at your facility. If this is not practical, an alternate venue can be used depending on availability including the West Columbia Police Department’s Training Room.