Albuquerque Public Schools is changing the way it trains students and school staff to deal with an active shooter. The district said students and teachers will now be more proactive if that scenario ever happens.
“A real crisis could strike anywhere and at anytime,” said APS Superintendent Raquel Reedy.
Within the past few years, schools across the nation have dealt with an active shooter.
Seventeen people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Florida. Twenty-six were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. Two were killed at Aztech High School in New Mexico just last year.
Now, APS says it’s changing the way students and teachers handle an active shooter.
“In the past it was lock your door, hide and wait for someone to come get you,” said Scott Elder with APS.
“We talked about what was going on around the country as well as here in Albuquerque, and that’s why we decided to go with the ALICE protocol,” said APS Police Chief Steve Gallegos.
“ALICE” stands for: Alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. KRQE News 13 is told the program will allow students and teachers become more proactive – like learning how to barricade doors, escape through windows, and even how to distract the shooter.
“We’re not really training people to swarm the shooter in this case. We’re trying to train them how to distract them and then to move and not just be a sitting target,” said Elder. “If you walked into a room and 30 people threw books at your head, you’re gonna flinch, you’re gonna move, and it will give you a couple of seconds to start running.”
Officials said the old way of doing things is not as effective. The ALICE protocol gives students and teachers a fighting chance.
“When we go to work and we send our kids off to school, we trust that they’re going to be protected and they’re going to come home at the end of the day,” said Albuquerque Police Commander Paul Szych.
“No one can predict or prepare for every single scenario that is possible, but how we respond is what matters,” said Superintendent Reedy.
APS also said upgrades on its communications and camera systems are in the works to give law enforcement a better picture of what’s happening and where it’s happening. The district also wants to limit access to schools. More fencing is one of those ideas.
The district said officers will start training students and staff soon, and they hope everyone is up-to-date on the newest procedures by November.