CAMPUS LIFE EDITOR
At the town hall meeting on Feb. 23, students reported feeling unsafe on campus and unprepared if an active shooter situation were to occur. The Office of Campus Safety heard these student voices and as a result another ALICE training to prepare for the case of an active shooter will be provided this year for students, faculty and staff on Thursday, April 28 at 5 p.m. in Club 88.
ALICE training is a program that is designed to prepare anyone for an active shooter situation and was developed by a police officer who had his wife, an elementary school principal, in mind. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, the skills which the training covers so that one can be prepared in a dangerous situation.
“ALICE teaches individuals to participate in their own survival, while leading others to safety,” the ALICE training website states. “Though no one can guarantee success in this type of situation, this new set of skills will greatly increase the odds of survival should anyone face this form of disaster.”
Assistant Director of Campus Safety Jeremy Addox advocated for this training to be available for all members of the Whittier College community and has seen how successful it has been. “We held one a few months ago for our staff and faculty and we had a huge turn-out so people started to push for more [and] the Senate came to us and asked for more, too,” Addox said. “We didn’t get much participation from the students. It’s been an outstanding training for our staff and so now we want to get our students involved in it next.”
A member of Gardena Police’s SWAT team Adam Caughran will be facilitating the training occurring on Whittier College’s campus and has been teaching these skills for approximately seven years. According to Addox, Caughran is extremely qualified and a great person to learn from.
The training not only allows you to assess the situation around you, but analyze how you may possibly react. “The majority of what it goes over is what to do in an active shooter situation. It’s either fight or flight,” Addox said. “There’s no bad thing about either. It goes over that and what tools you can utilize and what signs you can see in people that could possibly do harm to others.”
Addox emphasized that it is incredibly important for all people to be educated through the ALICE program. “It’s a trending thing now that [shooters] are targeting campuses. By going through ALICE training it will give you the mindset to always have your head on a swivel,” Addox said. “You’re less likely to be attacked if people notice you watching. Active shooters look for an easy target or a soft target. They’re looking for mass casualties. You’ll learn how to protect yourself and look out.”
The skills that you can learn during ALICE training may be useful in the future and Addox believes that it is an important part of keeping yourself safe. “Don’t become another victim. Being able to react and protect yourself and those around you, that’s what we’re here for, but you never know,” Addox said. “I want to encourage everyone to go to this training. I think it’s outstanding, you can always learn more and more.”