Local & State Law Enforcement Prepare for "Active Outdoor Shooters"

HARRISONBURG -- This week, local and state law enforcement officers are coming to the Shenandoah Valley for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training(ALERRT).

The training focuses on "active outdoor shooters" that could face officers during events like traffic stops, or situations when a shooting happens indoors and the shooter runs outside.

During those situations, law enforcement from multiple areas will respond.

This week, officers from Harrisonburg, Bridgewater, and JMU are participating in the program alongside other officers from around the state.

During the course, training officers will learn about tactics and how to work together with departments from other areas during outdoor shooter situations.

The trainers will then pass on what they learned to other officers in their local force.

Randall Watkins, who's an instructor with ALERRT, says anything can happen nowadays and officers need to be ready.

"One of the things we push the most is officers being ambushed in their vehicle," he explained. "We see way too often, something we saw here in Virginia, officers being shot and killed in their patrol cars. A lot of officers almost tend to feel complacent. We're trying to teach them that the world is changing. These are skills they really need to be working on and pushing."

Details of the drills officers participated in could not be revealed since the same tactics will be used in real situations.

The ALERRT program started on Monday and will conclude on Friday.

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