April 2017 - Vol. 3, No. 3
It's About Time
John Curnutt, Assistant Director
ALERRT at Texas State University
Immediately after Columbine, agencies across the nation looked around and determined first-responders needed better training, policy, leadership and equipment so they’d be better at saving lives. It was about time. Over the years, ALERRT has been blessed with the opportunity to travel nationally and internationally teaching and evaluate others who teach our program in many different environments. In doing so, we’re struck by the passion and intense effort being poured into readying our responders for “the day.” With schedules, budgets and effort being precious commodities, tactical training is quite the endeavor and solicits much spirited debate and analysis into what works “best.” With a library’s worth of information, we all set out to maximize the precious hours we have in our classes to transfer that knowledge and develop capabilities in our officers. Much of what we are responding to and the challenges we face in how we prepare for it comes down to time management.
We use the words “What if” a lot in training. We use them to illustrate any problem imaginable that can erupt as we work through a violent, unpredictable landscape. But tactical training today is quite the dichotomy. It is important to learn skill sets to address active attacks, but nothing should slow us down from what the real goal is: To quickly stop active murdering and help save the lives of the injured. It is about time. Our research has shown that in over 200 events studied, the vast majority of the harm is inflicted in the first 5-6 minutes. We see that on average law enforcement’s response time is around 3 minutes. We see that 98% of the time the event only involved one actor and really was what it appeared to be when first responders arrived on scene. Much confusion comes with errant reporting, “plus 1” thinking and other “fog of war” contributors. We can however look at hundreds of events and say with great certainty that a good enough plan right then beats the heck out of a potentially better plan 5-6 minutes from then. It’s about time. As active killing occurs, let us not succumb to the “what if” analysis/paralysis or get too caught up in trying to create a perfect tactical response. Is the mission to get a pretty formation together and walk a certain way through a building or is the mission simply to quickly stop the active attack?
Time is on no one’s side. The concepts and principles taught are very important, but anything that slows us down is not helping anyone when time and timing is critical. After the chaos has subsided, concepts and principles should definitely be addressed, positioning made better and situational awareness enhanced, but the longer it takes for us to intervene the worse it is for all involved. It is about time.
Historically, trainers have focused on debating tactics instead of instilling critical thinking into our responders long enough. Critical thinkers will read the situation and create a solution on the spot. I’m not sure what their grip will be or how they will stand as they quickly intervene,email@example.com
but I am certain they need to quickly intervene. We show tactics as part of a menu of solutions from which to choose, but the focus must be on creating critical thinkers who can read and react quickly. Critical thinkers who can move to the music being played instead of focusing so much on reciting the correct dance steps that they don’t even hear the music. Additionally, we’ve exhausted ourselves in trying to form teams of officers to enhance our security as we move through the great unknown, but if it takes too long for your team to show up or to move out, people continue to be murdered and die as a result of their injuries. Someone…anyone…can and should quickly move to intervene.
It’s about time.
On April 2, 2017, ALERRT IT will be implementing many new changes to the ALERRT website (alerrt.org). One of the changes means that any saved passwords for logging into the alerrt.org website will be erased and cannot be automatically filled when logging in. Due to this change, users will need to remember their passwords or reset them on our website.
If you need to reset your password, please follow the following steps:
1.Go to alerrt.org/login
2. At the bottom of the login screen select RESET PASSWORD.
3. It will ask you for your email address. (Use the email you normally login with, or where you receive ALERRT notifications.)
4. An email will be sent to you (usually within an hour) that has a link which will allow you to create a new password.
5.From there you should be able to login with your new password.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dwayne Sander, ALERRT Director of IT
Limited ALERRT Level II medical classes remain available in this funding cycle
Active Shooter Level II Medical
Time: (16 hours/2 days)
Class Size: Minimum of 24 and max of 30 students per class
Prerequisite: Sworn law enforcement officer (Level I training preferred but not required)
Required Equipment: Good attitude, open mind, pen and paper, duty gear, body armor, groin protection, and appropriate clothing for "force-on-force" training (i.e. long sleeve shirt, gloves, etc.) Head, eye, and throat protection will be provided by ALERRT
Description: “The fate of the wounded rests with the one who applies the first dressing.” (Nicholas Senn, M.D. 1898)
First responders are being trained to quickly enter into harm’s way to neutralize the shooter and save the lives of innocent victims in an active shooter event. In many circumstances, formally trained medical personnel will not or cannot be on the scene immediately to provide casualty care to wounded victims. First responders must be educated and trained in immediate casualty care techniques to save lives. The course includes Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC)-based self‑aid and buddy‑aid techniques as well as force‑on‑force mass casualty scenarios where participants will not only have to neutralize the shooter but also treat the wounded.
These classes are funded through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and delivered at no cost to the officers or host agencies. If you are interested in hosting this class, please see the requirements listed below.
1) The primary host agency must be a state or local agency.
2) Each class is required to be filled with sworn state and local law enforcement officers from multiple agencies. In the event that federal or military personnel are inquiring about registering, and you have given priority to state/local officers, you are allowed up to 3 slots to approve for federal/military. These federal/military students must not take seats from state or local officers.
3) The host agency will provide an unoccupied school building with wide hallways and multiple classrooms or a similar ALERRT-approved facility. The building should have electricity, water and restrooms and climate control if needed. The building should be clean enough for participants to lie on the floor during scenarios. At least one room, on site, should have tables or desks and chairs for the lecture portion of the training. ALERRT will bring the computer, projector and extension cords to deliver the classroom lecture portion of the training, if necessary. ALERRT will provide all of the equipment for the training as well as paperwork, resupplies and consumables. We will not damage the facility in any way. We do use marking cartridges for the force-on-force training but we do not leave any residue behind. 95% of our training is done in unoccupied schools that are currently in use. Occasionally, we will use a decommissioned school that is being readied for remodel or reconstruction. We have used approved empty hospitals, office buildings, courthouses. These buildings must be approved by our training division. The host can send photos and description of building if need be.
4) The host agency will be responsible for registration. We will post the class to our website under ‘Upcoming Courses’, and list the POC’s contact information for registration. Under special circumstances, we can remove the class from the website at the agency’s request.
5) The host agency is responsible for the advertisement of the class. We will send you the course flyer for distribution.
6) ALERRT will issue certificates for all classes and, in Texas, we will post hours to TCOLE.
7) In the event a class can’t be filled ALERRT reserves the option to open registration nationwide or cancel the class.
2017 ALERRT Integrated Response to Active Attacks Conference
Law Enforcement • Fire • EMS
MONDAY NOV. 6 - THURSDAY NOV. 9
Embassy Suites Conference Center, San Marcos, Texas
Online conference registration will begin on July 1, 2017.
Mark your calendars and watch your email for details.
Note: The 2016 conference was our largest ever, and was a sell out for vendors and participants, so make plans to register early.
Check Out Our ALERRT Websites
Have you visited our ALERRT websites? Our main site, ALERRT.org
, provides a full description of our training, our history and recent media hits, as well as information about how to register for a class or how to request a class in your community.
is our Civilian Response to Active Shooter website - which provides additional information and a resource for your community.
is our research-based home, The goal of this website is to provide up-to-date information and data regarding active shooter events in the United States.
is an ALERRT campaign encouraging media, law enforcement and public information officers to move their focus from the shooters to the victims and heroes, to limit the sensationalism and glorification of the murderer and redirect the focus to the recovery and healing process within the community.
Another excellent resource, from our VALOR partners is VALORForBlue.org
which provides all levels of law enforcement with tools to help prevent violence against law enforcement officers and enhance officer safety, wellness, and resiliency.
Pete Blair, Ph.D.
Director of Communications
Director of Training
Director of Finance
Director of Information Technology
Hunter Martaindale, Ph.D.
Director of Research
Director of Logistics
Major Funding Partners
Texas Office of the Governor,
Criminal Justice Division
FBI, Department of Justice
Division, Department of
Local Working Partners
City of San Marcos
Hays County Sheriff’s Office
Texas School Safety Center
Texas Tactical Police
Gary Job Corps Center,
San Marcos - Department
Committee for Tactical Emergency
Casualty Care (C-TECC)