How the community can prepare for an active shooter

Williamson County

LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — Imagine if you were caught in an active shooter situation. Would you be ready? Leander Police Department wants to make sure you are. 

“A lot of people have that attitude of ‘It can’t happen to me.’ It can happen and it has happened,” said Mike Mohler, a lieutenant with Leander PD. 

Tuesday night, the police department is hosting a two-hour seminar on C.R.A.S.E. (Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events). The seminar is not a self-defense class. Those who attend will not be taught how to duck, hide or run away. The presentation focuses on discussing every “what-if” situation in hopes of preparing people.

“If you play the ‘what-if’ game, if you prepare mentally for some of these events, you can really save yourself and other people,” Mohler said.

The seminar will focus on three steps: 

  • Avoid: Stay away from danger. Look for an exit. 
  • Deny: Look for a place to hide and do the best you can to make sure the intruder cannot easily access the room you’re hiding in.
  • Defend: Be prepared to arm and defend yourself.  

The class is for adults 18 and up, but with school back in session, Leander PD says it’s a good time for parents to sit down and share what they learn with their children.

“We had tornado drills, we didn’t have active shooter drills,” said Laura Gupton. “We didn’t even know what active shooters were.”

Gupton, a mother of three boys, says she’s made sure to educate her children about the dangers of an active shooter. 

“We don’t keep the news from them, we tell them when things happen, but we tell them at age-appropriate levels,” she said. 

Gupton says it’s important to do so. 

“You have to keep your kids aware, and especially the older that they get, because obviously, this isn’t stopping anytime soon,” she said. 

School safety changes

Following the Santa Fe school shooting earlier this year, many schools across our area took action and implemented several safety measures. 

Leander ISD hired a Director of Safety, who is the school’s liaison with the three law enforcement agencies which serve as school resource officers. Other schools added additional school resource officers.

Austin ISD Board of Trustees approved an extra $1.7 million in safety improvements, which included hiring five additional officers.

Manor ISD added three more officers this year, totaling seven altogether.

San Marcos CISD says local PD provided training to school employees during its professional development days prior to the school year beginning. They added social emotional counselors to all its secondary campuses and a district administrator to oversee the program this school year.

Bastrop ISD does not have dedicated school resource officers because the school district has its own police department. Several of the district’s officers are C.R.A.S.E. trained. 

The seminar is from 6-8 p.m. in the LPD training room. It is limited to 20 participants and if you are interested in attending, email jlauden@leandertx.gov.

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