1 year later, Uvalde shooting still changing ASU active shooter training
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - On the one-year anniversary of the Uvalde, Texas mass shooting, law enforcement is continuing to stay updated on active shooter training. Wednesday, Albany State University (ASU) Police joined forces with surrounding agencies to make sure they are prepared for the worst-case scenario.
“I don’t think there is a situation that hit home more to me personally than Uvalde did,” said Nickolaus Garner, University of West Georgia Training Officer. “No one wants to have to constantly study these events and look at these pictures and look at the aftermath, but it’s the only way that we learn from it.”
And that’s why they continue to train. Wednesday’s training was in partnership with a Texas training technique called Alert. The training comes from the same state where the Uvalde mass shooting rocked the nation’s core with senseless shootings.
“The things that Alert helps with is, It teaches officers to one, not only stop the threat but to help the people that are injured. So, we call it ‘stop the killing and stop the dying’,” said George Fry, ASU police training coordinator.
ASU Chief of Police Anita Allen added that the combined training with all the agencies throughout Albany and surrounding counties is the best way to ensure cooperation in the event of a mass shooting.
“The overall goal is to make sure that we all train together so that we can respond in the manner that we can protect as many people as possible,” Allen said.
So far in 2023, there have been over 200 mass shootings throughout the U.S. with 12 happening here in Georgia. Those numbers alone along with legislation pushing for more frequent active shooter training in schools are why local law enforcement is staying prepared for the inconceivable.
“Shootings are a real thing and they can absolutely happen. It’s a sad reality that we have to deal with but it is reality,” Garner said.
While the trainings have been updated with new technology and active role-playing, each one has taken a lesson from the many tragedies that happen throughout America, including Uvalde, which claimed the lives of 19 young children and two school teachers.
“The officers did not breech into that room. They decided to hold outside of it. The truth of the matter is, as long as someone is trying to hurt another human being, there should be no wait. Those events teach us — forces us — to evolve to be more effective in our response,” Garner said.
That better response is what Warren Ewings, an ASU police sergeant, hopes will lead to an end to mass shootings taking the lives of innocent people.
“It’s very stressful, very intense, but we do have a mission and we’re trying to accomplish that goal to save as many lives as possible,” Ewings said.
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