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ALiCE training offers active shooter prep for schools

Following Friday’s horrific school shooting that claimed many lives in Connecticut, area school officials are focusing on ways to combat such an intruder situation that they hope they never have to encounter.

An active shooter training program offered through the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office called ALiCE — an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evade — has been offered starting this school year for staff members at Bellefontaine City Schools and Riverside Schools.

Sgt. Scott Holbrook of the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office has assisted with the training offered at these Logan County schools following the implementation of the program at several Hardin County schools during the past several years.

“AliCE training is just a part of my responsibilities at the sheriff’s office, but I am reminded once again how truly important it is,” the sergeant said in an e-mail. “These tragedies continue to happen, and as long as I am able, I will continue to offer this training.”

The Hardin County deputy originally became aware of the ALiCE program several years ago when his wife was teaching at Lima Senior High School. He then attended training sessions there to get a first-hand look.

“I was immediately sold on the concepts of ALiCE,” he said. “I came back to the sheriff’s office and spoke with Sheriff (Keith) Everhart and explained the program and how important it would be for us to get on board. He told me to do whatever was needed to begin the process.”

One of the main goals of ALiCE is to cause teachers, staff members, and students to have some pre-thought and planning in the actual event of an active shooter, Sgt. Holbrook said.

“Also, one of the results, it empowers individuals to understand that they can take a active role in their own survival. They do not have to sit and behave like helpless sheep.

“Most of the concepts of ALiCE are simple’ it just takes someone to give them the ‘OK’ to act in manners that could help them live through a violent attack.

“One of the main things I stress is the implementation of the ALiCE program does not mean that no person will ever get hurt, it means that everyone’s survivability chances increase and it makes the goals of the attackers harder to attain.”

Sgt. Holbrook said the concepts taught through ALiCE are also applicable to active shooter situations encountered at work places, churches, malls etc.

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