DENVER (CBS4) – The Active Shooter Response Protocol was key to assisting law enforcement with ending the Arapahoe High School shooting on Friday.
The training was developed after the Columbine High School tragedy.
Police psychologist John Nicoletti says it’s because of that training that law enforcement is better prepared to deal with school shootings.
“Once the shooting stops the incident isn’t over it goes on for hours, and days, for and months, and even years in some circumstances,” said FBI National Security Agent Steve Olson.
Not all victims have actual physical wounds.
“The victims include those shot by active shooter but it also includes law enforcement officers, firefighters, and paramedics and victim advocates who have to respond and see and hear and do things that nobody should have to do,” said Olson.
“I got on a treadmill, I might have cried the entire time I was on it but that’s what I did and it helped. It made me feel better and that’s where you learn how to take care of yourself,” said FBI Victims Specialist Alicia Wagner.
A.L.E.R.R.T. stands for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.
More than 40,000 law enforcement officers have been trained. Ted Faul is one of the trainers.
“Right after the Columbine tragedy is when A.L.E.R.R.T. began,” said Faul.
He says the mock training is as real as possible. If someone suffers a minor injury while training, they use it.
“You can teach all day long but the best way and the most effective way is to put these people in the actual scenarios and let them see for themselves. Sometimes we make ourselves better by making mistakes,” said Faul.
The training paid off during the Arapahoe High School shooting.
“Our active shooter protocol was immediately initiated by our school resource officer. The officer went immediately to the threat as he is trained and all of the responding deputies and police officers also activated our regional active shooter protocol. And that is to go to the threat and try to eliminate the threat while keeping students and staff safe,” said Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson.
Prevention efforts can be double edged swords because schools don’t want to publicize that they prevented a shooting.
“Nobody wants to broadcast to their school district ‘hey we almost had a school shooting but we protected you all.’ Nobody wants to do that,” said Nicoletti.
Everyone has a part to play.
“We encourage the public if you see something abnormal please say something to law enforcement,” said FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Rankin.
Olson says in the coming weeks of this investigation even though the details of what set off this young man may be different, the premise is the same as with other shootings of this nature.