Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office receives active shooting training from FBI

(ABC 6 News) – School shootings have become all too common across the United States.

In 2023 alone, there have been 188 school shootings according to the K-12 School Shooting Database.

With these shootings becoming more frequent, law enforcement believes it’s best to be prepared to know what to do in those situations.

Fillmore County received training on Thursday from the FBI’s ALERRT program which started in Texas back in 2002. Fillmore County Sheriff John DeGeorge started his career in law enforcement in 1997 and has taken part in this active shooter training for many years.

“We use simulation bullets in this that are made of a wax and soap combination,” said DeGeorge. “They put us through a program that will make it as realistic as possible, so these bullet cause some real pain.”

The intensity of making these trainings as realistic as possible is intentional according to FBI Special Instructors working with Fillmore County Sheriff’s Office.

“We used to use this as a course to stop the killing, now we’ve extended it to stop the dying,” said one FBI Special Instructor. “We want to treat this training as a vaccine for them as vaccines have a bit of a virus in them to help you build up immunity in it.”

The training takes over two days to complete and towards the end of the second day, local EMS and Firefighters are invited to join in the training to simulate what they could experience in an active shooter scenario.

These types of trainings are not limited to law enforcement either, K through 12 educators are also receiving similar trainings as Kingsland Public Schools Superintendent Scott Klavetter shared.

“Our faculty took part in our own version of this training a few weeks ago in Rochester. For us it was a matter of learning how to keep these kids safe and what to do in the aftermath to make sure everyone is accounted for and going home with their parents and guardians,” said Klavetter.

The program comes at no cost to law enforcement and with so many small, neighboring offices in nearby towns and county sheriff departments. They too are invited to join in on the training.

DeGeorge says that all Fillmore County Sheriff deputies took part in the training and that several took up offers from neighboring counties such as Houston County Sheriff’s Department.