Texas State’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, also known as ALERRT was awarded a 5.4 million federal grant from the Department of Justice. The grant and ALERRT center received praise from non-partisan lawmakers.
The program is a stem from the POLICE act, created by Rep. John Carter and Sen. John Cornyn. Then, President Barrack Obama approved it in July 22, 2016 in response to the shootings in Dallas, where Micah Xavier Johnson murdered 5 police officers.
Pete Blair, executive director of the ALERRT Center, said the timing of this award couldn’t be more significant.
“Active shooter events, such as the recent one in Las Vegas, demonstrate the need for integrated training,” Blair said. “This grant will allow us to prepare law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel across the country to respond to these events.”
The ALERRT center provides training to first responders all over the world. Most recently, a delegation from Monterey, Mexico were briefed on the inner workings of the center.
The center provides programs and trainings from two to five days. Programs include Active Attack Integrated Response, Active Shooter Incident Management, Active Shooter Events and Response and many more courses.
These programs have grown necessary due to the increase of active shooter attacks. Rep. Lloyd Doggett called the grant both good news and bad.
“As one who worked to secure some of ALERRT’s first federal funding years ago, I see good news and bad news with today’s announcement,” Doggett said. The good news is that this is significant funding in a tight budget period that recognizes a quality local program. The bad news, of course, is that with Las Vegas being the 272nd mass shooting during this year alone, the importance of ALERRT is greater than ever.”
Similarly, Cornyn visited the ALERRT Center at Texas State last year to receive a briefing on the program and observe a demonstration of their training.
“In the face of tragedy and chaos, time and time again we’ve seen first responders act quickly and decisively to restore order and safety,” Cornyn said. “It is critical that we continue to give law enforcement, fire, and EMS officials every available resource to keep our communities safe. This will go a long way in training first responders across the nation to respond to active shooter situations.”
The ALERRT center partners with law enforcement and departments on campus to educate current and future first responders. In addition, the center works with the university to conduct research to improve safety.