URBANA, Ill. – Every University of Illinois Police officer will have trained in the national standard for active shooter response by the beginning of the 2019 school year.
This week and next, everyone from the police chief and command staff to new recruits, detectives and crime prevention officers will undergo Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT), widely recognized as one of the best research-based trainings available to police. The University of Illinois Police Department has been planning since January 2019 to attend the training.
“It is unfortunate that the reality of the country we live in forces us to think about these kinds of emergencies. It is heartbreaking to think about the tragedies that have occurred elsewhere and the impact that these events have on victims and their loved ones,” said Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Craig Stone. “The safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors is paramount. That means we have to prepare for every conceivable scenario.”
University of Illinois Police officers have previously trained in active shooter response. ALERRT training, however, is the national standard as determined by the FBI. By putting all UIPD officers through the course now, everyone will have had identical training and will be prepared to work together to quickly resolve a crisis situation.
The ALERRT training combines classroom learning with scenario-based training where officers are immersed in active shooter situations. The training is based on best practices developed from research aimed at understanding how active shooter events typically unfold, and the goal is to save lives.
“We hope we never have to put this training to use in real life,” Stone said. “However, we cannot ignore that these incidents happen with alarming frequency throughout the country, and we will be prepared to respond quickly and decisively.”
Four police departments are located within two miles of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus. This proximity ensures that a heavy law enforcement response to an emergency would be timely.
The FBI Springfield field office coordinated with ALERRT to present the training, free of charge.
The UIPD department-wide training will occur in staggered classes so that the department can maintain its daily operations without interruption while every officer attends. ALERRT is based on a model developed at Texas State University in 2002 and was named the national standard in active shooter response by the FBI in 2013.
For members of the news media interested in attending the training, please contact UIPD Communications Director Patrick Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-265-0028. No video recording of the training scenarios will be allowed, but still photos are permitted. There are limited opportunities to attend.