Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA – Over 150 pair of eyes were glued to three screens at the front of the banquet hall at A Learning Place on Robert M Davis Pkwy., Wednesday, as they watched a black and white surveillance video of what was introduced as the Columbine High School shooting massacre that took place in Columbine, Colorado, in 1999.
“Anybody else alive in here?” One of the two teenage shooters asked as they stood in the school library, guns at their sides, and police sirens echoing in the background.
The notably silent attendees watching the video were a mix of school teachers and school administrators from nine surrounding counties for an armed intruder training program - PROTECT:Schools - presented by area law enforcement. At the helm was Piqua Deputy Chief Marty Grove to discuss changes to the old “lockdown-only” mentality utilizing ALiCE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate). The full day exercise provided hands-on training on what to do during active shooter situations that included sessions on communication, how to barricade, assessing threats, and self-defense.
“Are you guys prepared for when today is not like yesterday?” asked Grove for when an armed intruder/active shooter or the rare plural intruders enter a school with one goal, achieving a high body count.
While the cavalry will be on their way during such instances, continued Grove, what happens inside the school and classrooms during the average 5 to 6 minutes for help to arrive makes all the difference. As evident in the ten-minute video that came to a close with the two shooters dead by their own hand, having killed a dozen of their fellow students and one teacher, wounding over 21 and leaving a nation stunned.
The video drove the point home for those seated in the banquet hall.
”How many of you could handle walking into a room, seeing that, hearing that?” asked Grove and though he emphasized no one, especially school teachers should have to deal with such a situation it is, unfortunately, the reality of our world today. However, a training program such as ALiCE is a toolbox that provides not only options but empowers individuals so while times have changed, “let’s be safe rather than sorry.”
PROTECT: Schools has been provided to public and private schools in Piqua but can be utilized in any public setting including malls and movie theaters. It is the foundation for next month’s presentation at Edison Community College and will be provided for office and factory environments as PROTECT:Workplace.
For more information on ALiCE visit www.alicetraining.com
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall