The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Police produce intruder response video

ALICE program expansion aim of production police chief says

 

Still from VPD ALICE training video

Valdez police officers Aaron Baczuk (left) and Lt. Bart Hinkle (right) demonstrate defense techniques in an ALICE training video the department produced in support of the program that teaches people – including schools - how to survive an encounter with a violent intruder.

Valdez police have produced a video to explain the ALICE program to the public.

It can be found at https://vimeo.com/120116948.

ALICE, an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, is a program first adopted in Alaska by Valdez police. It teaches schools and other workplaces how to react to an armed intruder and has already been adopted in other towns in the state.

Traditionally, law enforcement and schools adopted the practice of lockdown - keeping students in place during violent events such as school shootings. Numerous studies in the aftermath of such tragedies, Columbine and Sandy Hook are good examples, revealed that keeping students – or those in the workplace – in place during a mass shooting is not always the best survival tactic.

ALICE is not a step by step program with set tactics to use in all situations; rather, the training provides tools to use in the various situations that can arise when an armed intruder attacks - especially before police can arrive on the scene.

Bill Comer, Valdez police chief, says it's hard to believe that a town like Valdez should need to look at such a program, but the phenomena of workplace violence and school shootings can happen anywhere at any time. He pointed to the 1997 school shooting in Bethel as an example.

"If it happened in Bethel, it could happen here," he said, noting it's a program he believes all law enforcement entities should look at and the public understand. "We are worried about you guys."

He also believes it is a good public relations tool for schools, employers and government offices.

"It demonstrates to them we're dedicated to their safety," Comer said.

He also hopes the video will help the public and parents of students see what the program is "...and let the parents understand that we're not trying to do something crazy."

Still from VPD video

The ALICE video produced by Valdez police shows real-time demonstrations of drills and other information on dealing with an armed intruder.

Valdez police are looking at the possibility of a multi-agency ALICE drill in the near future, he said.

"We just did a tabletop with the district a few days ago," he said, one of many types of drills police and other emergency responders hold periodically.

This is in addition to more hands-on training that has already occurred.

"We've already done some of these drills with the school," Comer said. One involving the schools and other institutions simultaneously only makes sense.

The video can be found at https://vimeo.com/120116948.

 

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