Alabama law enforcement weighs in on active shooter training - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Alabama law enforcement weighs in on active shooter training

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Chief Alan Benefield is the Executive Secretary of the Peace Officer's Standards and Training Commission. (abc3340.com) Chief Alan Benefield is the Executive Secretary of the Peace Officer's Standards and Training Commission. (abc3340.com)
Law enforcement officers go through a shooter training exercise. (abc3340.com) Law enforcement officers go through a shooter training exercise. (abc3340.com)
Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper (abc3340.com) Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper (abc3340.com)

Every single law enforcement agency in the country takes threats seriously.

They want to be prepared to encounter an active shooter. The state of Alabama's Standards and Training Commission teamed up with Alabama's Homeland Security to make sure every officer is trained in ALERRT. That stands for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.

"Obviously now with the emphasis on school safety and school bus safety we've stepped up our training program and we're now working to make sure every officer I the state receives active shooter training," said Chief Alan Benefield, Executive Secretary of the Peace Officer's Standards and Training Commission.

He says sixteen additional hours  of training through the ALERRT program will ensure every officer is on the same page.

"Jurisdictions are imaginary lines, as you can see in dale county today. And you have officers from multiple jurisdictions. And if they all have the same training and they're trained in response, then they all react and respond together," said Benefield.

For now the alerrt training is not mandatory. However, the Standards and Training Commission will decide next month whether to make it so.

"Everyone should have it. I don't know exactly what the percent is of numbers of officers in Alabama that have received it, but it's not one hundred percent," said Benefield.

Birmingham police chief A.C. Roper says active shooter training is already standard in the Birmingham's police academy.

"In Birmingham we're really ahead of the curve. All of our new officers receive it. But then we're also training our veteran officers," said Roper.

Some state lawmakers have discussed the possibility of placing armed law enforcement or armed administrators at every school.

Attorney General Luther Strange, who was in attendance today,  isn't certain that is the answer.

"You know we're meeting and talking with our law enforcement leaders. I'm going to get my advice from the experts and see what they think before I take a position on that," said Strange.

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