With the increase of active shooter incidents occurring throughout the country, to include military installations, the Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) are training their officers to be ready to respond if needed, to include a training event on post the week of Oct. 20.
The current course is a Train the Trainer, the purpose of the training was to teach individuals to become trainers for the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Program.
“This particular training is a weeklong training. It’s the Train the Trainer program so that these agencies have trainers now that are capable of teaching their people the two-day course,” said Sgt. Marty Adcock, the group’s lead instructor. “Out of the exercise, my understanding is that they are going to try to get the pros and cons of what happened and then see where this training fits in and it will help offset any of the cons that took place,” Adcock said.
Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) is one of the major training programs at Texas State University-San Marcos, Texas. The ALERRT Center is a part of the School of Criminal Justice, in the College of Applied Arts and Science at Texas State, and in partnership with Bureau of Justice Assistance, Department of Justice.
The ALERRT curriculum, developed after the tragedy at Columbine High School, has become the national standard in active shooter response training. The first responders to the Fort Hood shootings on Nov. 5, 2009 had been trained by ALERRT, and credited their swift and effective response on that day to the ALERRT training they had received.
In preparation for the upcoming installation active shooter full-scale exercise, DES law enforcement and local law enforcement agencies participated in an active shooter response training program.
“The WSMR active shooter full-scale exercise Nov. 19-20 will help determine how this training has prepared DES in their response, and in mitigating the situation. I believe this training will teach our officers the methodology regarding law enforcement response to an active shooter incident. The whole paradigm on how law enforcement respond to active shooter incidents has changed. We need to educate ourselves on what’s being taught and ensure that information and training is being brought back to our officers,” said DES Capt. Thomas Benavidez.
“Earlier this year, ALERRT was brought here to WSMR to conduct three separate three day Exterior Response to Active Shooter Events (ERASE) training. We had a great turn out and received great training, and that’s what prompted us to get the Active Shooter Train the Trainer down here,” Benavidez said.
Technical Sgt. Joshua Anderson, from Holloman Air Force Base, participated in the training.
“I’ve already gone through the basic course, so now I’m expecting to learn how to teach this back to my guys when I get back next Monday,” Anderson said.
“(The training) is really important because of everything that’s happening these days – public and mass shootings. You look at (the shooting at) the Parliament in Canada; same continent that we’re on. It’s not that far away and it happens all across the United States from Virginia Tech all the way to Los Angeles,” Anderson said.
The WSMR Police Department and the Dona Ana Sherriff’s Department sponsored and participated in the multi-agency training. Law enforcement agencies from the local area; New Mexico State Police, Mesilla’s Marshal Office, Sunland Park PD, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Las Cruces Public Schools, UTEP Police, Federal Reserve Bank Police, NASA Security, Fort Bliss DES and security officers from Holloman Air Force Base participated in the training.