Wilkes Public Safety hosts ALERRT training: Local and university officers prepared for dangers of active shooters near campus


Gabby Glinski

Wilkes Public Safety officers and local police officers join forces to complete the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) on January 18 and 20. Officers particpated in classroom theory and then particpated in simulation situations. Officers cleared rooms and checked the status of the other officers.

Gabby Glinski , Asst. News Editor

In January, Wilkes Public Safety held two, two-day active shooter simulation courses with local law enforcement to further the education of dealing with an active shooter situation on campus and surrounding areas.

The program, Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT), has been provided to more than 80,000 law enforcement officers across the nation. The training is taught by veteran law enforcement SWAT specialists with experience in active shooter response. Sixty officers graduated from both of the two day programs.

All of the Wilkes Public Safety officers went through the training, which was held in 141 S. Main Street across from the Public Safety Department.

Officers particpated in learning the techniques in the classroom then directly applied them through simulation situations.

The training took officers through building-clearing techniques and high- stress simulation situations regarding active shooters. Simulation equipment was used which accurately represented equipment used in real situations. The program also provided skills for more common situations like how to clear buildings and how to handle suspicious persons.

“It’s a great pro-active training,” said Public Safety Lieutenant Phil Miller after completing the training. “We are seeing things and going through exercises that we haven’t before. It is very hands on.”

Wilkes Public Safety and King’s College Security participated in the training along with police officers from the Wilkes-Barre, West Wyoming, Kingston, Hanover Township and Plains police departments.

Public Safety Chief Christopher Jagoe stated that working with local departments in the program helped introduce the campus department to local police officers. The opportunity helped the flow of information between the departments, which is what officers would benefit from in a real situation when campus and local facilites would be involved.

Public Safety will also be sending several officers to participate in the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) program in Gettysburg, to train officers to become trainers in conducting presentations to the Wilkes community about safety in active shooter events.

In the next few months, Public Safety will partner with the Wilkes University Office of Risk and Compliance Management to create training modules for the campus community.

The courses, Emergency Management 101 and Protective Measures for Critical Incidents will include information on how to respond and operate in various emergency situations; ranging from an active shooter to natural disasters. These programs will be open to all students, faculty and staff of Wilkes.

More information on these courses will be available later this month.