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Local officers train for active shooter

active shooter training at Packsaddle Elementary

An active shooter training course was held at Packsaddle Elementary School in Kingsland on June 4-5. Instructor and Sunrise Beach Police Department Sgt. Steve Harris watches an officer go through a hallway-clearing exercise. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Several law enforcement agencies took part in an active shooter training course at Packsaddle Elementary School in Kingsland on June 4-5. The training was planned months before the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde took the lives of 19 students and two teachers.

“I think everybody in today’s world, especially in law enforcement, needs to be prepared for any threat that comes up,” said Chief Laurie Brock of the Sunrise Beach Police Department, one of four local departments involved. “I’ve been to a lot of trainings, and this ALERRT training is one of the better ones out there.”

ALERRT, which stands for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, is a nationally recognized course that instructs patrol officers on tactics and strategies for dealing with active shooters. ALERRT was founded in 2002 as a collaborative standardized training for Texas law enforcement. In 2013, ALERRT was adopted as a national standard for active shooter training by the FBI.

Although Sunrise Beach does not have an elementary school of its own, the department would respond to emergencies at Packsaddle Elementary, which is only 10 minutes away. 

Joining Sunrise Beach officers were members of the Marble Falls, Cottonwood Shores, and Horseshoe Bay police departments. The training was held in partnership with the Llano Independent School District.

Four certified ALERRT instructors guided the training: Marble Falls Police Department sergeants Cory Munoz and Jimmy Cole, Sunrise Beach Sgt. Steve Harris, and newly elected Llano County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Marquis Cantu.

“We really feel that ALERRT brings the whole package in,” said Harris, who has been an ALERRT instructor since 2010. “The overwhelming majority of your police officers have taken this class three and four times. There is just that much information to glean from it.”

The 16-hour course is composed of classroom instruction, guided tactics and strategies, and finally live exercises using simulated ammunition to be prepared for the real deal.

“I think (the Uvalde shooting) is probably on everybody’s mind,” Harris told DailyTrib.com. “It was a tragic event, and if we can do our part up here to either prevent or mitigate or limit something like that happening up here, we’re gonna do our best to make sure that happens.”

dakota@thepicayune.com