WYOMING — In light of recent deadly events around the country, the Wyoming Borough Police Department is taking the next step to keep residents safe.
The police department, led by three borough officers trained in Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT), will host an informative training session for residents at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 at the Wyoming Hose Company No. 2 on Third Street. The event is open to the public.
The course, Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE), is designed to provide strategies, guidance and a plan for an active shooter event. The training will inform residents about what happens in critical situations and how to prepare themselves.
“We haven’t really talked to civilians about what to do if something happens,” Wyoming Police Commissioner Michael Flanagan said. “There’s several programs out right now. The ALERRT program uses a little different format. It’s Avoid, Deny and Defend.”
In December 2015, 14 people were killed and another 22 were seriously injured at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, which also included an attempted bombing. The department had signed up for the training prior to the shooting.
The decision to have the training came after the shooting at an Orlando night club that killed 50 people in June.
Since then, five Dallas, Texas police officers were killed and several were wounded when a shooter opened fire during a protest July 7. The suspected shooter, Micah X. Johnson, was later killed by a bomb squad robot after negotiations failed.
“When Orlando happened we got together and decided enough is enough,” Flanagan said. “We put the first day together and have a good response already. If we get full we’ll host another one.”
Borough officers Paul Bowman and Don Noble, along with Flanagan, took part in the training held in Gettysburg.
ALERRT is headquartered at Texas State University and was created in 2002 as a partnership between the university, the San Marcos, Texas Police Department and the Hays County, Texas Sheriff’s Office to address the need for active shooter response training for first responders.
“(This class) also gives insight for them to know what to expect from police as a little heads up in advance,” Flanagan said. “Hopefully it’s something we never have to use. This is a great way to get that information.”
In 2013, ALERRT at Texas State was named the National Standard in Active Shooter Response Training by the FBI. Since 2002, ALERRT has trained more than 85,000 police officers nationwide.
“If you’re caught in a critical incident, there are three things you can do: fight, flight or freeze,” Flanagan said. “The worst thing you can do is freeze. We figure out how we can make a decision and not freeze. That is the most important part, in my opinion, is to teach someone how not to freeze.”
Reach Nick Wagner at 570-991-6406 or on Twitter @Dispatch_Nick