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ALERRT marks 100th Active Shooter class

http://sanmarcosrecord.com

San Marcos Daily Record (10/6/2004)

Author not available

A San Marcos-based police training program is making sure officers are prepared for anything when responding to an active shooter scenario.

A recent class of Texas Rangers marked the 100th class of law enforcement agents to complete this two-year old, dynamic force-on-force training program in the Criminal Justice department of Texas State University - San Marcos.

The class marks a milestone for the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Program

Captain Kirby W. Dendy of the Texas Rangers said,“We have had some outstanding training through the y ears from various sources but the ALERRT training was head and shoulders above what we have had. This is so relevant to the times in which we are living. Between terrorism and the probability of more Columbine-type situations, this training is extremely appropriate for the environment in which we are living and working today.”

The goal of ALERRT's First Responder to Active Shooter course is to aid police officers, specifically the true first responders in their ability to safely and effectively respond to, address and stop an active shooter through basic SWAT methods and techniques.

One of the main objectives is to offer affordable training to law enforcement officers across the country. This course is offered at no charge to the participants or host agency, through funding from the Department of Homeland Security and the Texas Office of the Governor, Criminal Justice Division.

This month, ALERRT will begin its third year of training first responders to deal with active shooters in Texas and across the nation. Since its inception, ALERRT has received more than $2.7 million in local, state and federal funding.

This month, ALERRT has been awarded an additional $1.6 million from the Texas Governor's Office, through the Byrne Discretionary Fund to underwrite courses for the 2004 fiscal year.

“This specialized training will better prepare law enforcement officers for critical situations, increasing their own safety in the line of duty as well as the safety of others,” said Governor Rick Perry.

Through a priority designation authored by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in the Commerce Justice State section of the Omnibus Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2004, ALERRT is receiving $1.6 million. These funds, now being administered by the Texas Governor's Office, are awarded to ALERRT through the Byrne Discretionary Fund to underwrite courses for FY 2004. Senator Hutchison has been an influential supporter of the ALERRT program since its inception in 2001.

“With proper funding and instruction, our first responders can effectively mobilize and perform when American citizens are in danger,” said Senator Hutchison, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “These brave men and women can be assured that I will continue to champion their efforts in Congress.”

To date, ALERRT has trained more than 2,140 law enforcement officers from 284 agencies in 46 geographic regions of the United States. The program has provided more than 34,000 contact hours of actual training to first responders. The demand for this crucial training is increasing daily, throughout Texas and the nation.

Under the direction of the Criminal Justice Department of Texas State University - San Marcos, ALERRT was established as a collaborative partnership between Texas State, the City of San Marcos, and Hays County.