PALESTINE — An unnamed person walks into a public place, pulls out a gun and opens fire — how are civilians to react?
In the wake of the Oregon High School shooting and similar incidents, and per requests from the public for civilian response training in a shooting situation, the Palestine Police Department is now offering C.R.A.S.E. (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events) for organizations, businesses and civilians who desire to prepare for a crisis situation.
Classes will be held for the public at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 14 and Saturday, June 28, in the Police Training Center in the Palestine Mall.
In February, the Palestine Police Department sent officers to attend response training in Waco through the ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) Center. Sgts. Gabriel Green and Jeremy Jenkins and School Resource Officer Joseph Tinsley attended the training — but it didn't stop there.
Green said what they found is that while law enforcement is trained to respond properly in these situations, civilians often react in ways that lead to negative consequences — such as casualties that could have otherwise been prevented. Green referenced the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, in which 32 people were killed and 17 wounded.
So Green and his fellow officers agreed to bring the training back home, for the civilians of Palestine. The training was free to law enforcement officers and will be free to the public.
"We're trying to spearhead an initiative that not only includes emergency personnel but the entire community to ensure that training is made available to save lives,” Green told the Herald-Press. “Our goal is to present methods which should increase survival through training and awareness.”
According to a news release, the training will provide attendants with information on how to react to an active shooter situation in conjunction with law enforcement. Presentations will include “solutions and strategies,” the release states, which can be practiced by civilians to aid not only themselves, but also friends and family.