Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Local schools receive training for active shooter scenario

 

March 14, 2019



All of the schools in Carlton County have had ALICE training, Moose Lake Police Officer Jamie Jungers told the Carlton County TRIAD members at the meeting on Wednesday, March 6, at the Moose Lake Police Department.

“In the past four or five months, we’ve gone to every school,” Jungers told the group. “We have trained them in actions that they can take to protect the students in the event that an active shooter is in the school. We’ve had four-hour and eight-hour classes for the teachers, paras (paraprofessionals), bus drivers, and anyone that we can get into the class. They are shown Power Point slide shows and then practice what they have been taught. If we don’t show them how it is done, people freeze and get killed.”

ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate, said Jungers.

“You need to know your surroundings,” he told the group. “Look for the door and windows. The room can be locked down. There are ways to keep the door shut.”

Jungers said that the staff is taught to barricade the door.

“The shooter will take the path of least resistance,” he said. “The open areas are the easiest for easy kills.” He gave the example of the shooter coming into the commons area where the students were eating lunch.

“Countering is not fighting,” said Jungers. “It is empowering yourself to subdue the shooter. Distract the person before you go after them. Throw something to distract him.”

He gave the example of throwing trays if the shooter comes into the cafeteria, or a stapler in the classroom.

“We teach the staff how to grab the shooter and then swarm him on the floor. People pile on top of the shooter after his gun is taken and put into a location where he can’t get to it, like on top of a garbage can or vending machine. During the training, we have someone come in and act as the active shooter at lunch and also in the halls and the gym.”

Jungers said that the Moose Lake school is a new school and had locks on the doors of the classrooms. But other schools do not. That is where the barricades, such as desks, tables or file cabinets, can keep a shooter from entering a classroom. Those also stop a shooter when the door opens into the hallway, he said. The shooter will go on to easier targets.

“The shooter takes the path of least resistance,” he said.

All of the schools have secure entrances to the building, he said. Visitors have to go through an office or process before he or she is allowed into the school.

Moose Lake Police Chief Bryce Bogenholm told the group that they respond as fast as they can.

“Moose Lake is lucky because it has its own police department,” he said. “Even then, it only takes three or four minutes for a shooting. The average amount of time it takes law enforcement to respond is 12 minutes. We teach the employees of the schools that they have to take care of it.”

“It is reality; it is happening,” added Sheriff Kelly Lake. “Ninety-eight percent of active shooters are Caucasian males between the ages or 8 and 22. Just about all of them want to kill themselves. If that happens, we can’t get into their minds to see why they did it.”

“A lot of times, there are no signs,” said Jungers. “I have received a lot of feedback from teachers about this training. They are extremely appreciative. It empowers them. They learn that they can do something.”

He also spoke about bus drivers and what they would do if an active shooter was on the bus.

“After the training, they know that they can run into a tree or roll the bus on its side,” he said.

“Keep in mind, this is not just for schools, it may be church shootings. Anywhere you go, scope out the room, be aware, look where you can go. It’s not paranoia like it used to be. It’s good sense.”

When the question was asked if this could happen in the local area, Bogenholm responded, “There are a lot of mentally ill people out there.”

There was also a discussion about the number of people that carry firearms under the conceal and carry laws.

“Right now, we have 2,500 conceal and carry permits issued in Carlton County,” said Sheriff Lake.

Jumgers concluded that the ALICE training will be given in churches soon if it is requested.

“We teach people that they can do something instead of waiting for law enforcement,” he said.

There will be no meeting of the Carlton County TRIAD in April. The next meeting was set for Wednesday, May 1, at a location to be announced.

 

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