Alabama officials stress preparedness in shooting situations

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Law enforcement officials in Alabama are making a point for training and preparedness in shooting situations.

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency leaders said about 67 percent of law enforcement officers in the state have been trained for active-shooter situations, the TimesDaily reported. That number is up from the approximately 30 percent reported in early 2013.

Active shooter situations are different than other emergencies.

“It’s the way the call comes in,” said Col. John Richardson, director of public safety. “Most likely, in an active shooter, you’re going to get numerous 911 calls back to back, and you’re going to have someone with probably a high-powered long rifle or fully automatic handgun, and they’re injuring and killing multiple people.”

Richardson and other officials spoke about preparedness in the wake of last week’s mass shooting in California. They also demonstrated the computerized training simulator that mimics a workplace shooting with multiple victims and an active shooter.

He said the way law enforcement responds to these situations has changed.

ALEA Chief of Staff Hal Taylor said this week the average active-shooter situation lasts about 12 minutes or less, which is the average response time for law enforcement in Alabama.

Taylor says approximately 10,600 officers who have so far received the training include county sheriff’s deputies and municipal police.

“We’re prepared for everything. Anything from a ballgame to a Talladega race,” Taylor said. “Anything that’s big, we’re going to have people there.”

ALEA has taught about 18,000 Alabamians the “Run, Hide, Fight” program in case of shootings.

Several college campuses within the state are trying to continue to upgrade safety measures.

The Alabama State Department of Education encourages “Run, Hide, Fight” training for schools, as well as coordination with local law enforcement. All schools are required to have safety plans.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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