Last week, Fort Bend ISD’s Travis High School seemed like something out of a movie. Don’t worry, it was all a carefully orchestrated exercise, and an important one.
Twenty-nine law enforcement officers from 12 different agencies were participating in an active shooter training presented by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT).
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has named ALERRT its national standard in active shooter response training, and is partnering with ALERRT to assist in delivering this training across the nation.
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and Fort Bend ISD hosted this training. Fort Bend ISD allowed the group to use Travis High School in the Richmond area for classroom presentations and also to provide a more realistic setting for the segment where officers use simunitions, non-lethal training ammunition.
The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT) is located at Texas State University and was created in 2002 to address the need for active shooter response training for first responders.
The funding for the Fort Bend County Train the Trainer program came from the Texas Governor’s Office – Criminal Justice Division. Much ALERRT federal funding also comes from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The training is provided at no cost to any of the participating law enforcement agencies or individual officers.
The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) is working on a pilot project to bring Train the Trainer classes and the active shooter level 1 classes to the region. The goal of this project is to assist ALERRT with coordination of training across the state through council of governments. Larry Smith, the Public Safety Program Planner with H-GAC, is the contact person for this project. He may be reached at email@example.com.
The ALERRT instructors utilize the Train the Trainer model so the “students” can go back to their agencies and deliver similar training to their officers. Trainers included Armando Ramirez, San Antonio Police Department (Retired); Lt. John Dombrowa, Pasadena Police Department; Jeff Crawford, Austin Police Department; Mike Stokes, FBI; and Jack Walker, FBI.
Agencies represented at the training were police departments from Longview, Rosenberg, Sugar Land, Humble ISD, Missouri City, Katy ISD, Fort Bend ISD, Richmond, Fulshear and Stafford. The group also included deputies from the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office and troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Numerous states and large agencies, including the Houston Police Department as well as the New York City Police Department, have adopted the ALERRT curriculum as their standard.
ALERRT active shooter response courses are in high demand, and currently more than 350 agencies from around the nation are on the ALERRT training request list.
Next week, ALERRT will be delivering the vital training at the FBI Headquarters in Quantico, Milford, Connecticut and Pearl, Mississippi.
In the past 11 years, the ALERRT Center has used more than $27 million in state and federal grant funding to train more than 40,000 police officers nationwide in a dynamic, force-on-force scenario-based training.
For information about ALERRT, contact Diana Hendricks at 512-245-1744.