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Mt. Pleasant Police Department and Henry County Sheriff's Office to host active shooter training

Union photo by Ashley Duong

The Mt. Pleasant Police Department will host a joint active shooter training with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 19.
Union photo by Ashley Duong The Mt. Pleasant Police Department will host a joint active shooter training with the Henry County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 19.

MT. PLEASANT — For those who want to know how to increase their chances of surviving an active shooter situation, the Mt. Pleasant Police Department and Henry County Sheriff’s Office will be hosting a joint training on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

The public training will be led by police chief Lyle Murray and sheriff deputy Spencer Rider. The pair will go through the Run, Hide, Fight tactic and show a video created by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Chief Murray said parts of the training will include the Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (A.L.I.C.E.) methods, however local law enforcement agencies feel Run, Hide, Fight are easier for members of the public to remember and digest. The chief added the training is to help “increase survivability.”

“Hiding under a desk during an active shooter situation might not be your best shot at surviving an attack,” Murray said, “Everyone should come. It’s going to be very informative.”

Murray added that people “never know where they’re going to be” when an active shooter may attack and understanding how best to make decisions in those situations will be their greatest asset.

“What the public needs to know is that they’re going to have to make some decision before law enforcement gets there. We won’t be there immediately, we’ll get there as fast as we can, but folks are going to have to make some decisions before we get there,” he said.

In addition to how to react and make the best choices during an active shooter situation, Murray explained parts of the training will include information about how law enforcement has changed in the last 20 to 25 years and what people should expect when law enforcement arrives on scene.

“We had an incident at the high school about a month ago and a lot of people on social media wanted live updates. That’s not our job. Our job is to find out if there’s a threat and to find that threat,” Murray said.

The police chief added one of the biggest questions he received after the incident was where people should meet if an attack should occur.

“It depends on where the attack is happening, but it’s good to identify a location so law enforcement, family, rescue and fire and staff can all find each other,” Murray said. During the presentation, law enforcement hopes to address that question.

While the training touches on an unthinkable topic that may be uncomfortable for some people, the police chief said it’s always better to be equipped with more knowledge and to be prepared.

“Lots of people say we shouldn’t have to teach these trainings to our kids, and I agree. But unfortunately there is evil out there so it is better to be prepared,” Murray said.

The training will last approximately an hour and will begin at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Meeting Room at 307 E. Monroe St., Mt. Pleasant.