Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge said his administration is working with local movie theaters to address safety concerns in the wake of the shooting at a Colorado movie theater that left 12 dead and injured at least 50.
APD has “spent many years training for active shooter violence,” Standridge said in a news release.
“Police administration is consulting with local cinemas to address any security concerns,” he added. “No community is ever prepared for the sudden, tragic loss of life. Our prayers are with the families in Colorado. “
Here’s Friday’s release from Standridge:
The Abilene Police Department has spent many years training for active shooter violence. In 2003, several sworn staff became certified instructors for active shooter response through Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT), which is a federally and state funded program designed to prepare first responders for these violent offenses. [See www.alerrt.org for further information.] Currently the Department has four (4) certified instructors, and all sworn staff have completed Level I active shooter training. Additionally, the Department just completed components of Level II training, wherein officers received training and equipment to handle medical emergencies in these crises sites. This was co-instructed by AFD and APD. Class 50 cadets are finishing their certification training today and will also be able to respond to such violence.
The Department collaborates with ACU PD, HSU PD, DPS, and TCSO to conduct an annual active shooter exercise. This year's exercise was completed in May at the ACU campus. Lessons learned in training are incorporated into field operations, with the hope that all LE agencies can work together to resolve these complex events.
It is important to remember that these offenses are lose-lose. First, the offense was not prevented, so the community is frequently scrutinized for perceived inaction. Secondly, violence has likely already occurred when law enforcement receives the initial calls, so the loss of life is a grave possibility.
Officers are taught to assess these offenses while they are en-route. Upon arrival, they will have to make a decision on whether to enter or set up containment. Many factors drive those decisions. Fortunately, all APD Officers are acutely aware of those factors and will respond appropriately. Additionally, officers have been issued bail out bags that contain medical equipment and additional law enforcement items that will be critical to mission success. The Department also has an active patrol rifle program, so at any given time officers have the ability to respond with shoulder-fired weapons. All of these factors are designed to mitigate the loss of life and help safeguard this community.
Police Administration is consulting with local cinemas to address any security concerns.
No community is ever prepared for the sudden, tragic loss of life. Our prayers are with the families in Colorado.