PALESTINE — Three minutes.
That's the average amount of time it takes for law enforcement to come on the scene where an active shooter has opened fire, such as at a school, business or church.
And as Palestine Police Sergeant Gabriel Green told participants in an ALERRT training course recently (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) — a lot can happen in the seconds between :01 and 2:59.
“Three minutes is a really long time when things are going wrong,” Green said. “In Palestine, we can get to most of our areas faster than three minutes. Just keep in mind we're going to get there as quickly as possible.”
In the meantime, how civilians respond in those crucial moments can mean the difference between life and death — a sobering fact to Green and Sgt. Jeremy Jenkins, who decided to bring the ALERRT training to members of the general public.
Under the new name of C.R.A.S.E. (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events), the sergeants crammed curriculum from the ALERRT training — which is used to educate members of law enforcement on proper response procedures across the nation — into a four-hour course at the Police Training Center in the Palestine Mall.
The free course was held this past Saturday and will be offered again at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 28.
"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 previously. “Our goal is to present methods which should increase survival through training and awareness.”
Accordingly, during Saturday's course, the officers presented solutions and strategies to course participants, which could be practiced by civilians to aid not only themselves but also friends and family in such a situation.