Friday, August 4, 2017

ALERRT

Image result for Alerrt photos

I was recently afforded the opportunity to attend the two day 16 hour ALERRT course with some other officers from the department I am a Reserve Officer for. ALERRT advertises itself as the "National Standard" for law enforcement response to active shooter situations. 

The instructors were experienced LEO from departments in LA,TX and IA. They all had SWAT or tactical team backgrounds however this is not a tac team course. ALERRT is for the patrol officer that may respond to an incident of this type and often may work with 1 or 2 other officers with whom they have never trained . There is a potential for even a single officer to engage. The context was very appropriate to my situation, as my department is small with only a few officer's on duty at one time. Our back up potentially could be delayed based upon geography.

I won't go into specifics of training as this class was for LEO only. I want to talk about my impressions however. On day 1 our head instructor made a statement which instantly won my respect. He stated that ( I am paraphrasing) "LEO are not adequately trained." My first thought was YUSH!!! I am on the same sheet of music here!! I have long maintained that many LEO and more specifically anyone who carries a firearm for self defense do not take training seriously enough. There is a responsibility we have to the community to be the best trained individual we can be. And not just with our weapon. We need to be familiar with  pre assault cues, grappling, trauma management, communications, de escalation, physical fitness and a myriad of other subjects. We need to continue to advance our abilities without the attitude "They aren't paying me" or " It won't happen here". It is unfathomable to me why this class did not have a waiting list. It wasn't even completely full and that is a problem that needs to be corrected.  I will make mention however that my department had the single biggest contingent and we acquitted ourselves well during the training. 

This course also validated many other things that I teach during my own instruction. Although if I didn't believe in it I wouldn't be teaching it, it is satisfying to get independent validation. Primarily how the body reacts under stress and how these reactions affect our ability to engage a threat. For instance I teach kinethestic alignment of the shooter and the fact that you will not need your sights or find them particularly interesting when the threat is inside 9-15 feet. This point was validated when during a room clearing sequence I was ambushed by an unexpected second gunman. I recall lowering my center of gravity, squaring towards the threat, punching my weapon out until it stopped and pulling the trigger as fast as I could. What I don't recall is ever looking at my sights. I was looking at the chest of the gunman as they fired back, my weapon was vaguely in my line of sight somewhere between us. I achieved 3 center mass hits acrossed a standard class room. This information was extremely valuable to me. 

I enjoyed this course and am glad I had the opportunity to go. Any of my LEO friends that haven't gone need to get themselves to the next available course