On August 20, 2018, Chad Brown, Carl Albert State College Director of Police, provided ALiCE training to the faculty and staff of Wister Public Schools in Wister, Okla.
ALiCE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate; this training aims to prepare individuals and organizations on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event, according to the ALiCE website. Whether the attack is by an individual person or a group of professionals intent on conveying a political message through violence, ALiCE training offers option based tactics versus the traditional ‘lockdown only’ approach.
“When I begin the ALiCE training,” said Brown, “I start off by asking the faculty members what their institution’s policy is on active shooters/armed intruders. They informed me that their policy is to follow their traditional lockdown procedures, which would involve locking the doors, hiding, and staying in one place until help arrives. Upon learning this, I started to explain to them why their traditional lockdown method is not the best strategy to use in critical incidents such as with an active shooter.”
The first part of the ALiCE training is a lecture that details why school shootings have such high fatality rates, Brown said. “Once we have reviewed the statistics, I begin to offer examples of how to limit the amount of casualties by creating dynamic environments versus the static environment that are used in traditional lockdown methods,” Brown continued.
“The main reason traditional lockdown methods are a problem is it creates the ideal environment for shooters; those on lockdown are ‘sitting ducks’ which allows the shooter to cause as much harm possible in a short amount of time and in one concentrated area,” Brown continued.
In order to change the traditional lockdown mindset, Brown creates live-action scenarios and walks each faculty member through a variety of potential situations.
“We play out scenarios in preparation that will create muscle-memories for the trained person to engage in or recall if they are ever faced with a similar situation,” Brown said.
In order to make these trainings as real as possible, Brown uses a combination of airsoft guns, masks, darts, stress balls, loud sounds that mimic gunfire, and other materials.
“With this type of training, I hope that the trained individuals will feel empowered to act in such events rather than freezing in one place,” Brown said. “I hope these trainings will limit the static environment approach to avoid potentially high fatalities.”
Hali Repass is an accounting instructor for CASC and the mother of two children in the Wister Public School system.
“Knowing that Wister Public Schools are taking a proactive approach to our children’s safety gives me even more confidence in our schools,” Repass said. “I love that my fellow faculty member, Chad Brown, has been willing provide his expertise and training as an educational tool for our surrounding communities. Safety on our school campuses is imperative; I highly recommend all surrounding schools to host Chad and train their faculty members as well.”
The administration of Wister Public Schools echoed the sentiments of Repass.
“The interactive training was very eye opening,” said Rachel Pugh, Superintendent of Wister Public Schools. “We feel like this training is one that all schools should participate in and our teachers feel better prepared for situations that could definitely be a possibility. I feel like better preparation means extra safety for our students, and safety is our top priority.”