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FBI conducts active shooter training in Rushford

August 20, 2019 10:58 PM

More than 250 mass shootings have taken place in the U.S. this year. That’s more than the number of days in 2019.

In these tragic, "life or death" situations every second and every action taken by law enforcement counts. 

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That’s why members of the FBI were in Fillmore County on Tuesday, teaching local law enforcement agencies how to respond to an active shooter situation.

“With all of the current events that are happening, with the things that have happened in the last several weeks, they draws a spotlight to it,” said Sheriff John DeGeorge with the Fillmore County Sheriff’s Department. “For law enforcement in particular, we are the ones that are relied upon. We are the first line of defense.”

The Minneapolis division of the FBI is conducting the training program called "Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training" (ALERRT). Funded by the federal government, the program was created after the Columbine massacre and has since been hosted at agencies across the world. 

“Our training budget is pretty limited,” said DeGeorge. “To be able to run 19 officers of our own through a two-day active shooter training with the kind of resources they [FBI agents] have here, I don't know that we would be able to do that [on our own]. One of the things that's really great about this is it incorporates the FBI’s tactics to local law enforcement. They provide all of the equipment and the equipment is the same as what we use out on the streets ... but [the handguns] fire paint rounds.”

The FBI also used fake grenades to make the scenarios feel real and unpredictable.

DeGeorge says it’s the first time Fillmore County authorities have held active shooter training in Rushford-Peterson High School and Middle School.

“What a great way for the FBI and our local law enforcement to know our building,” said Principal Jake Timm.

Timm says it really shows how different the world is today. “When I was a student in high school - way back when - you did fire drills and after Columbine it changed,” he said.

Nowadays, bulletproof backpacks are being sold.

“Is that fear that we are kind of generating or is that something we should consider?” asked DeGeorge, “that is an individual decision for each parent but I think the most important thing we can do is talk to our kids.”

“The schools have plans in place and [it’s a matter of] kind of trusting those plans,” said Timm.

“[Current events are] not a good reason to not live your life and be happy and do what kids do, it’s just a matter of ‘We have to be prepared and so does everyone else’,” said DeGeorge. 

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Hannah Tiede

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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