RCSO participates in ALERRT training

TIGER After a handful of recent tragedies involving school-related shootings rocked the nation, the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments participated in the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) led by the Georgia State Patrol to prevent such devastation from ever occurring in our backyard.

According to Mark Lamb, Georgia State Patrol (GSP) Training Division, ALERRT was originally created in 2002 as a partnership between Texas State University, the San Marcos, Texas Police Department and the Hays County Texas Sheriff’s Office to address the need for active shooter response training for first responders. But it didn’t take long for ALERRT to be named the National Standard in Active Shooter Response Training by the FBI in 2013.

Present day, the ALERRT curriculum has been adopted by numerous states, including Georgia, and agencies as their standard active shooter training.

Rabun County Sheriff Chad Nichols recognized the need to incorporate such training in order to help prepare state and local officers for active-shooter scenarios while also working collaboratively to establish local partnerships with law enforcement colleagues.

The 16-hour course is broken down into two days of training combining the train-the-trainer model, which has 17 modules of learning. In addition, ALERRT utilizes active-shooter simulations by role-playing different scenarios which WRBN/WGHC News was allowed access to.

The designated GSP ALERRT trainers help guide local deputies and officers throughout the duration of the training and correct any tactics and/or movements that need improvement.

Nichols said ALERRT is beneficial for many reasons but emphasized that it allows the opportunity for different agencies to all come together and learn to operate on one level of technique so that any confusion may be avoided if multiple agencies arrive on the scene instead of working individually, the agencies operate as one.

“I recognized the need in the county and wanted to bring all of the local agencies together to train for an active shooter event, especially at the school because it could a deputy sheriff, it could be a Clayton police officer, a Dillard police officer, a game warden, trooper or the GBI could be the first ones to get to the school,” Nichols said. “…So if we lay this foundation that they’ve laid down this week through the ALERRT training, it will not matter who shows up. Everybody will be on the same page to respond effectively. That’s the big takeaway is to build teamwork with other agencies.”