HPD to host open Run, Hide, Fight class
The Hartselle Police Department will offer a Run, Hide, Fight active shooter class to the public Tues., Aug. 11 from 6-8 p.m. at the HPD’s Special Services Division/ Training Facility on Sherrill Street.
The free class is part of the Department of Homeland Security and ALEA certification, in which the HPD is certified. This is the first time the HPD has offered the class to the public. The course has been available for groups that took advantage of the opportunity, but this course will be open to everyone.
HPD’s Lt. Linda Fox said the course was designed for companies and groups, such as work place environments, but everyone can benefit from the information.
“It’s meant for groups to help develop a safety plan, but what’s great about it is individuals can use it just as much,” Fox said. “It really shows people their options in a simple and easy to remember way. It helps them make quicker decisions when they get in an emergency situation.”
Sgt. Kel Roberts described the class as more of an information session of options rather than a training course.
“It’s not really training, since it’s not teaching you a specific thing to do,” Roberts said. “It gives you options to keep yourself and your family safe. The goal of the class is to keep them from being victims, not eliminating the threat or coming up with a plan. It’s for general safety knowledge for active shooter situations, which is why it’s so popular. People can use it anywhere in almost any shooting or threatening situation.”
Roberts said this class should also help dispel some confusing rumors about school safety courses.
“Schools are trained using ALICE, and Run, Hide, Fight using some aspects from ALICE,” Roberts said. “This will be great for letting people know what the best thing to do in each situation would be. Some people don’t like the idea of taking a class like this to learn how to confront an attacker, but this isn’t self-defense. This is simply common sense ways to get out of these situations alive. Average law enforcement response to an active shooter call is three minutes, so hopefully this will get you through those three minutes until help arrives.”
Both officers differentiated this from a gun safety class.
“We offer several gun safety classes for the public, but this has almost nothing to do with guns,” Fox said. “Fighting back is an absolute last resort, so the only time guns are really talked about in this class is if you have a gun on you when police arrive. We will explain how police react to these calls and what they best reaction would be for you as a citizen if you have a gun.”
This class if recommended for anyone and everyone, but Fox suggested younger children might should wait to hear the information from a parent or guardian.
“This would be a great learning opportunity for people of all ages as young as teenagers or so, but it could be upsetting to younger kids,” Fox said. “It might be a class that parents and teens can attend and then tell their younger children what they want them to know.”
This is one of the many public services the HPD’s Special Services Division offers to the Hartselle area. Fox and Roberts agreed they would be happy with any amount of participants at the Run, Hide, Fight class.
“We will be glad to see however many people show up,” Roberts said. “It would be great to think that every person in Hartselle could be trained in this, but it’s still assuring to know that we can at least help the people who come learn what to do in an emergency situation like that. We will be happy with whatever number we can get, but we hope that everyone will take advantage of this opportunity.”
For more information, visit the Special Services Division website hpdssd.com, which will be updated with other HPD class and public service information.