The West Virginia University Department of Public Safety is hosting specialized training for first responders who might encounter a shooting or hostage situation.

The program, Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT), supplements the extensive training of police by teaching additional methods of stopping an active shooter.

In all my years of training, ALERRT ranks in the top five training programs Ive participated in,said WVU Police Lt. Danny Camden, a certified ALERRT and West Virginia law enforcement instructor.ALERRT gives a very good base of training to prepare first responders for violent situations that can occur.

Camden will be among four ALERRT instructors conducting training in February and March in the empty wing at the former St. Francis School on WVU s Evansdale Campus. Six, two-day classes (16 hours each) are scheduled. Training is offered Feb. 4-5, 6-7, 25-26, 27-28 and March 25-26 and 27-28.

The classes are free, but limited to law enforcement, tactical EMT /medics (qualified in firearms) and active duty military personnel who have an operational need for this type of training.

All WVU police officers are scheduled to participate, as well as 24 Morgantown police officers. Other law enforcement agencies have been invited. A few openings are still available. To participate, contact Camden at 304-293-3136 or .

ALERRT instructors will provide training on survival stress reaction, tactical team movements, low light techniques, rescue team tactics, improvised explosive devices, ways to approach buildings and more. Additionally, the training will include practical exercises.

This training is very valuable to our community,Camden said.It will be a key part of additional safety programs area law enforcement has implemented since the tragedy at Virginia Tech last year to prepare for these types of situations.

ALERRT is a joint project of Texas State University-San Marcos; the city of San Marcos, Texas; and Hays County, Texas. ALERRT has been awarded more than $7 million in federal and state funds to bring this rapid response training to frontline officers across the nation. The program is made possible in part through funding from the Texas Governors Office Criminal Justice Division, U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance and Department of Homeland Security Office of Grants and Training.

More information is available at