Hampton police provide ALICE Training as proactive response to threats

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 | 11:00 PM

More than 75 people attended the free ALICE Training event on Feb. 23 at the Hampton Community Center, hosted by the Hampton Township Police in conjunction with the Hampton Township School District.

The center was closed to the public for the afternoon during the training.

ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate, provides training for individuals and organizations on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or an active shooter event.

This the third year for the event and Hampton Township Police Chief Tom Vulakovich said it was well attended.

“There’s a lot of awareness of what’s going on in today’s society. People want to be educated on what to do and how to act, whether at work or in the community,” said Vulakovich.

Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, assistant superintendent at Hampton school district, and School Resource Officer Carl Good conducted the training with Vulakovich.

The amount of people who signed up shows people are looking to be prepared, according to Cunningham.

“People are wanting to know the skills on what to do to keep themselves and the people they love safe,” Cunningham said.

The first part of the training consisted of classroom instruction and the second part included actively using the skills participants learned during that instruction.

Vulakovich said they staged several aggressive intruder scenarios where those who attended had to respond to the event. Participants were given these scenarios as a way to practice and learn what to do if they were ever in a situation.

Vulakovich said last week’s scenarios imitated events at mass gathering situations and people working in the office atmosphere. This training is applicable to all public places, such as work, schools, churches, movie theaters or anywhere.

Afterward, they discussed each scenario to review their reactions and choices.

Vulakovich and Good used a “Nerf” gun during the scenarios as they posed as an aggressive intruder.

But they also fired blanks from a real rifle from several distances in the community center to give participants an idea of what it sounds like, said Vulakovich. This may help them recognize it if they ever heard one.

A variety of people attended, including a handful of township administration and staff, said Vulakovich.

Alicia Round, a parent of two children in the school district, explained why she signed up.

“It’s for my children and to know what to do if I get myself in that situation,” she said.

Round added she learned that it’s important to just remember to dial 911 in the middle of a crisis or emergency situation, adding that in the middle of the confusion it may be something people forget to do.

Elaine and Joseph Oesterle, both of Hampton, said they did it to know how to protect themselves and protect others.

“You never know when it’s going to happen,” said Elaine.

Meg Spotts, of Hampton, works in childcare and also attended.

“I’m just curious what it’s all about,” she said.

The training is also held for Hampton school district staff. In addition to providing the training for older students, it is made developmentally appropriate for children in lower grades.

Overall, Vulkaovich and Cunningham said the response was good.

“We received a lot of positive feedback from the community residents about the training. Many indicated that they felt much better and much safer knowing what to do if they were ever in a crisis situation at work, at the mall, or at a shopping center,” said Cunningham.

More on ALICE training can be found on the Hampton Township Police website.