IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. -- Training for the unthinkable -- a madman with a gun inside a school.
Just one scenario dozens of law enforcement officers worked through Thursday in Iredell County. It's all part of ALERRT, or Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.
"It will give a foundation to the officers in how to train, to better prepare them in the event in a situation like this." said instructor Jeff Waters. "We want to stop killing as quickly as we can."
The two days of training is composed of classroom instruction, and live action group work. The goal is to have the closest Deputy, or School Resource Officer respond to an active shooter as quickly as possible to save lives.
"We can't wait until you get a lot of back up, especially here. We have a large County. A responding officer maybe 15 minutes behind," said Iredell County Sheriff Darren E. Campbell. "This trains the officers to have some tools to neutralize the threat on their own, if they had to."
Sixty officers, and deputies from the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, Statesville Police Department, Mooresville Police Department, Troutman Police Department, and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol participated in the training. The exercises were done inside the Iredell County Sheriff's Training Facility in Statesville.
The ALERRT program is part of a training strategy developed by the FBI in the wake of recent mass shootings including the tragedies at Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook.
ALERRT, developed and based at Texas State University, is part of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) VALOR program. ALERRT has trained more than 60,000 law enforcement first responders with better information adopted by the FBI as the national standard in responding to gunmen in a school, or workplace.
To learn more about the FBI, and the work they do click over to www.fbi.gov.