VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The Valdosta Police Department wants to make sure people are prepared in the event of an active shooter.
On Thursday, officers spoke at an event hosted by the South Georgia Employee Committee and the Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce educating people on how to deal with an active shooter situation.
Officers spoke about the “Avoid, Deny, Defend" method of action.
This means avoiding contact with a threatening individual, deny them access your location and defend yourself if it comes down to your survival or the shooter’s.
“As you can see it’s been more and more occurrences of active shooters going into the schools and businesses. It’s just unfortunate that we have people that want to cause that kind of devastation and we have to combat it some kind of way," said Darrell Lester, Valdosta police officer.
Officers came to teach everyone the ADD method at the civilian response to active shooter event.
The biggest takeaway, officers said, is make sure that you are paying attention.
“Beware of your surroundings," Lester said. “If you see something out of place or you feel that something is just not right, always call law enforcement and just have us check it out to make sure that it’s nothing.”
These situations can happen anywhere, officers pointed out.
“When you’re going into an active shooter scenario or environment, you’re not sure what you’re encountering. You don’t know how many at that time. You don’t know what type of weapons so it’s just scary," Lester said.
Officers said a shooters’ goal is to cause death, destruction and despair, but they’re asking you to remember this training to hopefully save a life.
“Go back to that ADD thing — Avoid. Deny. Defend," Lester said. “If you can use those tips to, it can prevent, not saying its going to save everyone unfortunately but you can limit the damage that’s being done."
If you would like to be a part of an active shooter training, contact your local police department.