The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (ALERRT) stands at the national forefront of active-shooter response by providing to first-responding police officers from across the country the skills to stop the violence committed by homicidal/suicidal subjects, such as active shooters in schools and domestic and foreign terrorists.
The tragedy at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, changed the way law enforcement reacts to active shooting situations.
When two students took control of Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, the first-responding patrol officers established a perimeter and called in the SWAT team. In the Columbine massacre, for 45 minutes before the SWAT team arrived, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had free rein of the school. During these 45 minutes, the shooters killed 13 people, critically wounded 24 and injured more than 160 others. The first responders were crucified in the media for their perceived lack of response to the unfolding events at Columbine High School. What the media and public did not understand was that the first responders acted as they had been trained and conditioned to do. This tragedy identified weaknesses and outdated philosophies in tactical training and response.
The ALERRT program has addressed those weaknesses. Through the ALERRT active shooter response training, first-responding officers on the scene are taught to go in, stop the shooter, and ultimately save lives.
The program continues to grow through lessons learned in active-shooter crime scenes around the nation and the world. In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, the ALERRT program has been established throughout the State of Virginia at the request of the Virginia Governor’s Office. Several other states have implemented the ALERRT program as an important element of their law enforcement accreditation program.
Since its inception, ALERRT has trained more than 10,000 law enforcement officers and military personnel around the nation in active shooter response.
The ALERRT program is the first operational law enforcement training program to be certified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Grants and Training, which will enable states to access DHS funds to bring this valuable training to their agencies.
The ALERRT program at Texas State University has received more than $10 million in program funding from the Texas Governor's Office for Criminal Justice and the United States Bureau of Justice Assistance, and the Department of Defense, as well as other governmental agencies. Grant-generated funding in FY08 is expected to exceed $4 million.
Texas State partners with the City of San Marcos and Hays County on this project, as well as the Texas Engineering Extension Service, Texas Tactical Police Officers Association and the Texas School Safety Center.