Campus closes to practice ALERRT training
IRVING, Texas- On Sunday, June 1, North Lake College held a full-scale emergency drill at their Central Campus in Irving. Participating organizations included the City of Irving Office of Emergency Management, Irving Police, Irving Fire Department, CareFlite, and Baylor Medical Center at Irving. An additional 90 volunteers participated in the event, role-playing as students, staff, and active shooters.
The North Lake College Police Department began planning for the safety drill in early fall 2013. Working with the City of Irving, NLCPD says their main goals were to ensure strong communication operability between the two agencies in the event of an emergency and identify any gaps in preparedness. Sunday’s training ensured the two teams could access the same radio channels, act as a cohesive unit, and locate and arrest the active shooter. The drill also allowed non-police college staff to practice emergency response and communication.
“The importance of this training scenario goes along with this day and age where, for whatever reason, we seem to have more copycat mass murders and mass shootings
,” explained Sergeant Rick Cutler of the Irving Police Department. “It’s no longer a matter of ‘if’ but more a matter of ‘when’ and ‘where,’ so we want to be prepared mentally and physically.”
North Lake’s safety drill followed the national standard for active shooter response: ALERRT
, or Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training. Developed in 2002 as a response to the Columbine tragedy, the ALERTT training program is based in San Marcos, Texas, and funded in part by the Department of Justice. ALERRT began as a partnership between Texas State University and the San Marcos Police Department with the mission “to address the need for active shooter response training for first responders.” Today over 50,000 police officers nationwide have adopted the ALERRT curriculum, including North Lake College Police Department and the FBI. By the end of June 2014, all Irving PD and EMS will have completed the ALERRT curriculum.
“The more faculty, staff and students who are trained in campus safety, the more we can protect ourselves and each other,” said Interim President Christa Slejko in a recent article by the News-Register
. “The college has plans to make practice drills a regular exercise.”
Editor's note: For interviews, photo opportunities and media support, please contact Marielle McGregor, Marketing & Advertising Coordinator, at 972-860-3957, or the North Lake College Public Information Office, 972-273-3004.
North Lake College is a member of the Dallas County Community College District. Educational opportunities are offered by the Dallas County Community College District without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or gender expression.