CRANFORD, NJ — The local police department has teamed up with a training institute to offer a two-day active shooter-instructor certification course this month to help prepare local organizations for an event they hope never happens.
The course will be hosted by the Cranford Police Department, with certification through the ALICE Training Institute on June 18 and 19, at the Community Center on Walnut Avenue. It will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days and costs $695.
The course will teach attendees how to deal with situations involving an active shooter, violent intruder, mass shooting, terrorism or workplace violence, and is designed to teach “proactive option-based strategies to increase survivability in a violent critical incident,” according to the institute’s website.
“The benefit of hosting the instructor training is that all attendees that successfully complete the course will be able to bring the ALICE training back to their respective agencies,” Cranford police Capt. Guy Patterson said in an email on May 31.
Patterson said the department has partnered with ALICE “ to conduct the training in Cranford so that people in this area could have an opportunity to become certified trainers of the program.”
ALICE, which stands for “alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate” has been offering the training certification since 2001. Patterson said that there are currently members of law enforcement, schools, businesses and religious organizations registered to attend the course and that people are coming from all over the state to take the course.
Certified instructors may only provide training to their own organizations, and law enforcement officers may train public entities within their jurisdiction while on duty, according to the website.
“It is not a hand-to-hand self-defense course, but instead it trains people to assess situations and initiate the response that will provide the highest level of safety based on the given situation,” Patterson said, adding that the program expands on the principles and guidelines provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other federal entities.
ALICE instructor certification lasts for two years and is renewed online through a recertification course.
Patterson told LocalSource that being prepared for any kind of incident is important, not only for local organizations, but for individual citizens as well.
“We feel training, whether it is ALICE, run, hide, fight or another similar model, is important to assist people to develop a mindset to react when encountered by violence,” he said.
“That mindset of assessing options will be undoubtedly valuable. In any of these situations, help is on the way, but it is up to the individual to do everything they can to ensure their safety until help gets to them.”
Some Cranford Police Department’s officers have been trained ALICE instructors since 2014, according to Patterson.
“To date, we have provided the training to well over 300 people. We will more than triple our compliment of trainers after this course. This will enable us to offer the training on a more regular basis to interested organizations within the township,” he said.
Prior to the two-day class, all registrants must complete an online introduction for instructors course, which is included with the training. The prerequisite course will give people the basic knowledge and foundation to prepare for the class. During the course, participants will partake in hands-on-demonstrations, practical scenarios and evaluation drills, according to the course objectives.
“Our training program empowers individuals to participate in their own survival using proactive options-based response strategies when faced with violence,” the company’s website says. “Participating in ALICE instructor certification provides you the training necessary to teach others these lifesaving strategies.”
More than 3,000 police departments and almost 4,000 school districts across the country have received ALICE instructor certification.