ALERRT’s Integrated Response Training Program provides scenario-based training that prepares officers and other first responders to safely and effectively handle active shooter and other violent threats. The grant will help fund the training of roughly 16,755 additional first responders, officials said.
“This grant will allow us to prepare law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel across the country to respond to active shooter events through integrated training,” said Pete Blair, executive director of the ALERRT Center, in a statement.
The funding came from the United States Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services Preparing for Active Shooter Situations Program.
The PASS program is designed to increase public safety by providing funds for scenario-based training that prepares officers and other first responders to respond to violent threats in their communities.
ALERRT was created as a partnership of 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. It has been named the national standard in active shooter response training by the FBI.
Texas has dumped more resources into ALERRT training after the Uvalde mass shooting in May, when an 18-year-old gunman entered two elementary school classrooms and killed 19 students and two teachers.
A July report by ALERRT found that the Uvalde responding law enforcement — nearly 400 of them — missed several opportunities to slow the gunman during the 77 minutes that passed between the start of the rampage and its conclusion.
State leaders have blamed lack of training for the inaction, vowing to further fund additional classes.
In August, Texas launched a travel assistance program to help cover additional expenses in attending the ALERRT training.
Gov. Greg Abbott also directed ALERRT in June to provide training to all school districts with a focus on school resource officers.
“The vital training has been shown to shorten response times and strengthen law enforcement abilities,” Abbott said in his directive. “Training will prioritize equipping school-based law enforcement with the necessary skills and knowledge to quickly and effectively respond to active shooting events in Texas public schools.”