Paul Toussaint, Chief
23 Wakefield Street
Rochester, NH 03867
Friday, May 4, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Rochester Police Host Active Shooter Response Training for Civilians
ROCHESTER — Chief Paul Toussaint announces that the Rochester Police Department hosted an active shooter response training for civilians yesterday.
On Thursday, May 3, Deputy Police Chief Gary Boudreau presented to more than 80 tenants of the Rochester Community Center about the importance of civilian response during critical incidents like those involving an active shooter.
The two-hour course, which was developed by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University, was held in the senior center at the Rochester Community Center.
Deputy Chief Boudreau explained that because police are not immediately on scene during an active shooter event or critical incident, citizens need to make decisions to keep themselves and others safe.
“What you do matters during an active shooter situation,” Deputy Boudreau said. “We need civilians to make decisions that can save your life and the lives of others before law enforcement arrives.”
Throughout the training, Deputy Chief Boudreau shared video and audio clips from past event, including a 911 call from a teacher during the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, where 15 people were killed. He highlighted the importance of getting past your emotional response, not to deny what’s happening, deliberating on what action you can take and deciding quickly how to respond.
“The worst thing you can do in any critical incident is nothing,” Deputy Chief Boudreau told the audience. “The hiding and hope method is not effective, so you must take action. If you are a leader and know what to do, everyone else will follow suit.”
The course teaches civilians to use A.D.D. principles during an active shooter event:
- Avoid. Be aware of your surroundings and leave the area as soon as possible. Know your exits and secondary exits, and call 911 once you are in a safe situation.
- Deny. Keep the attacker away from you. Lock and barricade doors, turn off the lights and stay out of sight.
- Defend. Have a “warrior mentality” and keep thinking that you are going to do whatever it takes to survive the incident. Position yourself to defend and fight back.
Deputy Chief Boudreau also had a special message for New Hampshire residents with licenses to carry concealed weapons. Should residents ever find themselves in an active shooter situation and are able to take action to eliminate the threat, they should make sure their hands are free and up in the air when police arrive so there is absolutely no confusion about the identity of the perpetrator.
“Law enforcement officials are responding to an extremely chaotic scene with very limited information, so it’s very important to follow commands, show your hands and not to move when police arrive,” Deputy Chief Boudreau added. “This will prevent any further confusion.”
The Rochester Police Department is able to provide this training to any interested groups or businesses in town. To request a training, please contact Deputy Chief Boudreau at [email protected]. Rochester Police also plan on holding open trainings in the near future for residents.