With the start of school a little more than a week away, UNC Pembroke’s entire Police and Public Safety Department participated in a two-day Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) that included live force-on-force training.
A UNCP Police team demonstrates now an approach to a hostage or active shooter situation.
The training is as close to the real thing as you can get, said Corporal Steven Earl Jones, UNCP’s certified trainer. “We use are Glock semi- automatic pistols modified to shoot simunitions, which are training rounds filled with colored soap powder,” he said.
The first of seven live drills that Cpl. Jones ran was a hostage situation on the third floor of North Residence Hall. Afterwards, the teams discussed what happened. The simunitions with their color-coded bullets leave little doubt about the results.
“I got off three shots,” said Cpl. Gloria Abeyta. “Yes, I got him. None of our people were hit.”
Fayetteville State University and Fairmont town police trained alongside UNCP’s officers. Trainers came from East Carolina University, UNC Greensboro and North Carolina Central University.
Brent Herron, associate vice president for campus safety and emergency operations at UNC General Administration, observed.
“We have a corps of trained and certified instructors,” Herron said. “We do this because, a lot of times, it is the first officers on the scene who make the difference.
“This is a 16-hour course that we’ve been using to train whole departments,” he continued. “UNC Pembroke has been one of the biggest supporters of this program.”
Funding for the program comes from the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC).
Simunitions used in emergency training. The “bullet” is filled with colored soap so there is no question about the results of a live training exercise. The “weapon” is a modified Glock.
The training day started with building approaches. Teams of officers were timed at they approached North Hall, guns drawn. Timing is everything, the trainers emphasized.
The seven scenarios varied from “active shooter,” hostage, homicide and more. One is a “decision-based” drill that forces an officer to make a decision to shoot or not to shoot, very quickly. The preferred response to an emergency is to use teamwork. Officers form multiple-person teams, three up front and two in the back.
Training like this teaches practical lessons, said Chief McDuffie Cummings.
“These scenarios are why we have a minimum of four-man shifts at all times on campus,” said UNCP’s Chief McDuffie Cummings. “If there is an emergency, we want a team to respond.”
With two active shooter incidents this summer in the U.S., UNCP and its officers take the training very seriously, said Travis Bryant, associate vice chancellor for Police and Public Safety at UNCP.
“The purpose of ALERRT training is to train police officers, specifically the first responders, in their ability to safely and effectively respond to emergency situations,” Bryant said.
“This was a good two-day training. We were pleased and the oberservers were pleased with our performance,” he said “It makes you feel safer knowing that our entire department has gone through training like this. We have a good batch of officers.”
For questions about this training, please contact Travis Bryant, associate vice chancellor for Campus Safety and Emergency Operations at 910.775.4500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.