Texas State's ALERRT Center to receive $9.8M award from DOJ

Texas State University's Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center will be receiving almost $10 million from the Department of Justice.

U.S. Rep Lloyd Doggett (D-Austin) announced Wednesday that the ALERRT Center will be receiving an $9.8 million award from the DOJ to expand multi-disciplinary, scenario-based active shooter training for roughly 17,000 more first responders. This Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant comes from the Preparing for Active Shooter Situations (PASS) program.

"Initially created in response to a troubling event in Hays County, ALERRT has saved many lives through its valuable training," Doggett said in a statement. "At a time when there is so much concern about gun violence and a Governor unwilling to take reasonable action to prevent another tragedy, I am pleased that these funds will ensure more of our first responders are prepared to respond to the inevitable next active shooter event."

"This money will allow us to train approximately 17,000 first responders from across the country to more effectively serve their communities," said Pete Blair, executive director of the ALERRT Center.

A significant portion of the funding will go toward training first responders in how to be instructors, so they may return to their communities across the U.S. and train others in the Integrated Response Training Program. ALERRT is also expanding and developing more e-learning capabilities.

Most of the center's classes are funded through sources as the COPS Office out of the DOJ and the State of Texas. Much of the training ALERRT does is provided at no cost to the agency or officers being trained, says the center's website.

This federal grant stems from the Protecting Our Lives through Initiating COPS Expansion (POLICE) Act, sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-Round Rock). The 2016 law encourages departments to use programs such as Integrated Response Training at ALERRT, which trains local law enforcement, fire and EMS officials to work together in response to an active shooter situation.

Since 2017, COPS Office funding through the PASS program has provided active shooter training for approximately 55,000 first responders across the nation. Additional information about the PASS program can be found here.

The ALERRT Center, which was founded in 2002, has trained more than 130,000 law enforcement and fire officials nationwide in dynamic, force-on-force scenario-based training and more than 200,000 civilians in its Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) Avoid-Deny-Defend awareness program.

The center began as a partnership between Texas State, the San Marcos Police Department and the Hays County Sheriff’s Office to address the need for active shooter response training for first responders. In 2013, ALERRT was named the National Standard in Active Shooter Response Training by the FBI.

ALERRT program trains Texas first responders on how to handle active shootings
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