COLLEGE STATION — Gov. Rick Perry has announced an award of $1,501,154 to the partnership between Texas State University-San Marcos and the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) to fund the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center, a law enforcement rapid response training program.
This grant is awarded through the federal Byrne Formula Grant Program and distributed through the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division (CJD).
“Local agencies across Texas will gain crucial assistance from Texas State University-San Marcos to help better protect our citizens and neighborhoods against predators and crime,” Perry said.
This $1.5 million will provide law enforcement officers with critical training to more effectively respond to episodes of violence before they evolve into full-blown, national tragedies.
Many of these ALERRT classes will focus on “train-the-trainer” instruction, significantly increasing the number of officers trained and agencies utilizing the specialized training.
Among the largest agencies utilizing the ALERRT program, to date, is the Harris County (Houston) Texas Sheriff’s Office. The Harris County Sheriff’s entire patrol division, one of the largest patrol divisions in the United States, has received this critical training, through ALERRT instructors and ALERRT certified trainers on staff with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
ALERRT employs “First Responder Tactics” and “Active Shooter Tactics” based on lessons learned from historical homicidal/suicidal acts of violence, such as that which happened in Littleton, Colorado at Columbine High School. This is critically important training for regular patrol officers who are typically the first responders to violent events.
While the largest metropolitan areas of the U.S. have at their disposal specially trained tactical (SWAT) teams to teach this advanced tactical training to first responding patrol officers from their own agencies, this is not an option that is available to officers from smaller cities and rural agencies. Through this important Governor’s CJD funding, the ALERRT program is offered at no cost to the host agencies or participants.
ALERRT has been training first responding police officers since 2002. As the ALERRT program entered FY2006, more than 4,600 law enforcement agents in 567 agencies in geographic regions throughout Texas and across the United States have received this important training.
More than 75,000 actual instructional contact hours have been delivered to first responding patrol officers since the inception of ALERRT.
November marks the beginning of the second year of the partnership with TEEX. TEEX manages many of the ALERRT Center’s administrative and logistical duties involved in coordinating the nationally acclaimed active shooter training program.
Texas State University’s ALERRT partners also include the City of San Marcos, Hays County, Gary Job Corps, and the Texas Tactical Police Officers Association.
TEEX, a member of The Texas A&M University System, offers hands-on, customized training, exercises, technical assistance and technology transfer services impacting Texas and beyond. TEEX programs include fire, homeland security, law enforcement, public works, safety and health, search and rescue and technology transfer.