WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - The Williamsburg Police Department want to help citizens take action for their safety. Monday night, they held a class on what to do in an active shooter situation.
"These active shooter type situations are occurring more frequently," said Williamsburg Police Chief Sean Dunn. "We want to do our very best to ensure our citizens are as well prepared a possible should they find themselves in a situation like this."
The class is based off research done by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University. In 2013, ALERRT at Texas State was named the National Standard in Active Shooter Response Training by the FBI.
At the beginning of the class, officers talked about the physiology of the human brain and how it works. Then, went into how it's beneficial for citizens to think things through and not act on emotion.
"Slow it down. take a deep breath try to control your breathing and remain as calm as possible, not easy to do when shots are in there nom and we recognize that," said Chief Dunn.
In an ideal situation, getting away from the threat is the best bet. However, Police realize that's not always possible.
"You’re cornered. There are no windows, there is no alternative escape route. What we recommend is to find some way, so you can maybe not just lay and be a victim. But be more proactive in addressing the threat," said Chief Dunn. he also recommended staying with a group because there is safety in numbers.
The average response time nationwide for law enforcement is three minutes. Chief Dunn said citizens just have to buy them that time.
Police have also changed their tactics for shootings. In the past, they would wait for a large law enforcement presence before taking on the threat.
"We changed that, so now we get there and with a very small contingent of officers we make entry and go directly toward the threat," said Chief Dunn.
Finally, Chief Dunn recommended having an open relationship with kids, so if they see something uncharacteristic, they will report it before it turns into something bigger.