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Active-shooter training in Alton, Mo.

Law enforcement officials attend active-shooter training in Alton, Mo.
Law enforcement officials attend active-shooter training in Alton, Mo.(KYTV)
Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 10:26 PM CDT
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WEST PLAINS, Mo. (KY3) - The halls and classrooms of Alton High School are quiet now, but school starts in a few weeks. When it does, local law enforcement wants to be ready for a worst-case scenario.

“I hate that the world and society, in general, have come to this point where we need this kind of training,” said Oregon County Sheriff Eric King, “and that we are to the point that violence is so prevalent in the world that the teachers and we need to train like this.”

According to Mark Scates, an instructor at this week’s training, there have been 300 mass shootings since the Columbine tragedy in 1999, in which 12 students and one teacher were killed. “We know that the majority of these active attacks actually don’t happen in schools, said Scates. “They happen in industry, they happen in business, but this what gets all of our attention as parents, grandparents, families--these events where children are attacked obviously are the worst of the worst.”

Officers from Oregon, Ozark and Howell counties, as well as some from the Missouri Highway Patrol and conservation department, are taking part in active shooter training, taught by a group based at the University of Texas, called ALERRT--which stands for Advance Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.

“They have a facility in Texas, and a training site,” said Scates, “and instructors are constantly being brought up to speed on new things that evolved based on active attacks that have happened in the U.S.”

Jacob Hamby is in training at the Howell County Sheriff’s office. He’s glad to be getting this training early in his career. “Hopefully just get some tools to put in my toolbox,” said Hamby. “Get some experience under my belt, and get used to working around people that I don’t know.”

Instructor Scates said, “I don’t want everyone else to worry about this kind of stuff, because that’s what we do. And this kind of training helps to ensure that other people are taking care of our kids.”

The training here in Alton ends on Thursday, July 1, but ALERRT does this type of training all over the country. For more information, visit ALERRT.org.

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