ALICE instead of ALERRT

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ALICE instead of ALERRT

Hope Sickels, Staff Contributor

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A.L.I.C.E is an acronym that stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. Roughly 4,200 K-12 schools use ALICE, the number one shooter civilian response training program. Pleasant Valley is one of those schools.

When an ALICE drill takes place, the school is placed in a scenario that an active shooter has entered the building and everyone in the school follows ALICE guidelines. Classes barricade doors unless it is possible to run away safely and prepare to throw things at anyone threatening. Counselor Tom Neuhaus said, “The ALICE drills makes pgreat sense in the world we live in.”

Neuhaus has been working at the high school for a total of 16 years. He started back in 1993 and worked here until 2000 then again in 2010, but this is his last year before retirement. That means this year is going to be the last couple times he will have to take part in the ALICE drills. “I think in today’s world we have to have them. It creates a level of preparedness which we need,” Neuhaus said.

When Neuhaus worked here in 1993, he felt safer simply because the design of the building; there were less entry points. Now there are so many doors in and out of the building. Another reason he felt safer has nothing to do with the school, but instead the way society has changed. Back in 1993, school shootings were rare and not in the media. Flash forward 25 years and these terrible events happen so often students can’t even keep them straight.

First responders, like police and firefighters, use something a little different called ALERRT, which stands for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.

ALERRT was created when the San Marcos, Texas Police Department and the Hays County, Texas Sheriff’s Office partnered with Texas State University. Its mission is to become the best research-based shooter response training in the nation. Yet, schools still choose ALICE.

Since 2002, ALERRT has received more than $56 million in state and federal funding and through scenarios based on high tempo training using force and skills to stay safe, ALERRT has trained at least 130,000 law enforcement officers and firefighters.

ALERRT also offers a civilian training in which they have trained over 200,000 civilians in the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE). In 2013, the FBI selected ALERRT as their bar for active shooter response training.

Student Maddie Meincke believes ALICE is a much better fit for schools since most students wouldn’t be expected to use force and weapons like how it’s taught in the ALERRT training. “It’s relieving to know that law enforcement officials are taught to fight back in a different way so that our society as a whole can approach an active shooter event with the most preparedness.”

 

 

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