National statistics show that the average critical shooting incident is over in just 5 minutes, generally minutes before law enforcement has arrived on the scene.
ALICE training is designed to help individuals and organizations help themselves by providing them with a plan on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event.
Earlier this month, two Delta Police Department officers attended a two-day class offered by the ALICE Training Institute on the Front Range. Commander Jesse Cox and Sgt. Jeremy Gay are now the only two certified ALICE trainers in Delta County.
ALICE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. The nationally-recognized program aims to "eradicate the 'It can't happen to me' mentality and change the way people in schools, universities, businesses, hospitals and places of worship respond to armed intruders."
Cox and Gay say the program is aimed at changing the mindset of people, to authorize and empower them to use a variety of simple options to save their lives, as opposed to hunkering down and waiting for law enforcement to save the day.
Individuals who find themselves in an active shooter attack are being taught first to attempt to escape, and if that isn't possible, then to barricade themselves in a room or closet. Simply locking the door is not enough, the ALICE Training Institute teaches, because shooters can easily shoot the lock off. Swarming the intruder is another option.
"After 22 years in law enforcement, I was surprised how much I learned in two days," Cox said.
"The most important thing we learned is how to train people not to be victims," Gay added.
The two participated in hands-on scenarios that demonstrated the effectiveness of the ALICE training, and they're now eager to share what they've learned with the community.
When people think of mass shootings, schools come to mind, but the majority of active shooting incidents occur in businesses, Cox said. The training they're prepared to share is applicable anywhere large groups of people congregate, indoors or out.
ALICE Training Institute encourages training be implemented in drill form. "We've seen the successful results of fire drills. It's time to start anticipating manmade disasters," the ALICE website notes.
"Active shooter attacks are, unfortunately, a national phenomenon," said Chief Luke Fedler. "It's good to be able to say we're taking a proactive approach."
The police department is working with the school district to offer ALICE training this fall. Cox and Gay are also available to share their knowledge with local businesses, churches and other groups. Training is free and can generally be accomplished in an hour or two, depending on the size of the group. More information is available by calling the Delta Police Department at 874-7676.