Responding to last weekend's mass-shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, that killed 31 people, the Palestine Police Department is conducting two free “active shooter” classes this week and next.
“I encourage all members of the community to come out for the class,” Chief Andy Harvey said Monday.
Detective Joe Tinsley will teach this week's class on Thursday, from 10 a.m. to noon, in the Palestine High School auditorium. It aims to teach residents what they should do, and what they should expect from the police, during an active shooter event.
“We'll look at past incidents, and look at things people might not have noticed,” Tinsley said, including the Columbine High School shooting in April, 1999, in Columbine, Colorado. Seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students and one teacher.
The PPD class, Tinsley said, is based on the “Avoid, Deny, and Defend” (ADD) classes developed by Texas State University, as part of its Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) program.
The class focuses on paying attention to your surroundings, learning when and how to flee, placing barriers between you and the attacker, and denying the attacker access. The class also shows how to fight back, if necessary. “You're fighting for your life,” Tinsley said. Do not fight fair.
A yet-to-be-scheduled second class will take place next week. However, Tinsley said PPD will put on a class for any interested group or business.
“All they need to do is call us,” he said. “Generally, people call after a tragedy like this past weekend, but we are available at any time.”
Harvey said the PPD is happy to put on as many classes as necessary to help city residents feel safe and empowered. “I think just learning what they can do helps,” Harvey said. “It helps people feel less afraid and more in control.”
For more information, call the Palestine Police Department, 903-729-2254.