Troy University Police Department teaches active shooter safety

TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — Now more than ever school shootings have become a critical issue alongside gun violence in the U.S.

Because of that issue, the Troy University Police Department (TUPD) is now focusing on active shooter prevention and training. Part of officers’ training is encouraging the public to remember the motto, “If You See Something, Say Something.”

“I believe that violence is just going to keep on getting worse and worse,” said TUPD SGT John Johnson, a certified Federal Law Enforcement Training Instructor. “I think the only way to stop it is education and helping us watch for the warning signs before it could happen. All these school shootings could have been stopped if someone just spoke up.”

Last July, TUPD installed an active shooter simulation training device. The device helps officers learn how to handle active shooter situations. Jackson says over 90% of TUPD officers have completed all 300 simulations the device offers.

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“We actually teach a class called LAST that we teach in Dothan, Montgomery, and Phoenix City,” said Johnson. “There’s a lot of warning signs such as being socially reclusive with one of the biggest being things being on social media.”

According to a study by CNN and the U.S. Census Bureau, there have been over 16 school shootings this year alone. One of the most recent shootings happened at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville. That shooting left one student injured.

Jackson says training and preparedness play a huge role in responding well to active shooter situations.

“When someone is actively shooting, the first thing is to run and get as far away from the location as possible,” Johnson explained. “If you can’t run away then hide in place but not just that, hide with a weapon. Find something to hide with to defend yourself such as a pen, pencil, or knife. The last thing is to fight. If your life is valuable and means anything to you, you’re going to fight for it.”

According to TUPD’s Annual Safety Report, officers made one arrest in 2021 for a person carrying or possessing a weapon. 2022 saw seven arrests for that same category. That report doesn’t show the numbers for 2023. The full report can be viewed below.