The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

December 17, 2012

State looks to develop plan for preventing, responding to shooting incidents

— Gov. Robert Bentley on Monday tasked Alabama Department of Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier with developing a strategic plan for preventing and responding to incidents of active shooters at various facilities.

“We have been working for some time on a coordinated effort to prevent and respond to situations such as active shooters,” Bentley said.  “This requires not only continued law enforcement training, but also input and preparation among the public.  We hope to prevent tragedies from happening.  In the event of a tragedy, we are prepared to respond.”

The Alabama Department of Homeland Security has three top priorities in preparing the formal long-range plan:

• Continue and expand training for law enforcement in how to respond to and combat an active shooter event

• Engage the private sector in sharing information, and educate the general public on how to respond to an active shooter event

• Continue work with the Alabama Department of Education, utilizing the Virtual Alabama system, which makes school safety plans immediately accessible to first responders

Already, the Alabama Department of Homeland Security provides valuable resources to help people prepare. Safety information and a video can be found on the ALDHS website at http://www.dhs.alabama.gov/activeshooter.aspx.  (The subject matter of the video is sensitive. Parental guidance is suggested.)

Also, a hotline is already available to receive anonymous tips on suspicious persons or activity.  The hotline can be reached at 1-866-229-6220.  The hotline connects people with the Alabama Fusion Center, the state’s intelligence and information sharing operation.

There is also an online form through which people can submit information.  The form can be accessed at fusion.alabama.gov/Report-Suspicious-Activity.aspx.

“Training law enforcement to combat active shooters, while also preparing the public, are top priorities for the Alabama Department of Homeland Security,” Collier said. “We never know when the training will be needed.  The key is to prepare ahead of time.  We will continue to engage with our state and local partners in making sure our plan is comprehensive and up-to-date.  I look forward to presenting the Governor with a strategic plan for the coordination of our statewide efforts.”

 

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