Yarmouth Police to Host Active Killer Training Course

Lt. Kevin Lennon will once again host Active Killer/Hostile Event training Saturday morning at Yarmouth Police Headquarters.

WEST YARMOUTH – In a collaboration with the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce, Yarmouth Police will host an Active Killer/Hostile Event training program Saturday.

The 2-hour training course at Yarmouth Police Headquarters begins at 9 a.m. and is open to the public.

The training session gives attendees an overview of what an Active Killer Event is and what they can do to protect themselves.

“If you give us two hours you will walk out of that room knowing exactly what to do when you are in the middle of this situation,” said Yarmouth Deputy Police Chief Steven Xiarhos.

The training course, Civilian Response to Active Shooter/Hostile Events, or CRASE, is a nationally recognized program developed in conjunction with the Department of Justice and Texas State University.

The course will look into the Virginia Tech school shooting and other similar events through a review of data from a study conducted by the FBI from 2000 to 2013.

At the end of the program, participants will have a better understanding on what an Active Killer Event is, what preparations can be done before hand and what individuals can do to reduce risks during an event.

The training session, which had already been scheduled, comes on the heels of Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Florida High School.

Nickolas Cruz is accused of opening fire with an AR-15 assault rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killing 17 people.

“We are all in mourning. We are all sad and we all pray, but that’s not enough,” Xiarhos said. “And what we need to do is learn what to do because, sadly, everybody out there knows it is going to happen again. Not only in schools, but it can happen in a mall, it can happen in a church and it can happen on a bike path.”

The course can prepare individuals for different types of attacks other than shootings, with weapons such as knives and vehicles.

The training teaches people to first avoid the situation.

“If you do see something that is happening or you hear something like gun shots… you need to avoid the situation by getting out,” Xiarhos said.

If people cannot get out of a hostile event safely they are taught to locking the room and barricading the door.

The last step is knowing how to defend oneself when the assailant is in the room.

“Sitting and praying when someone is killing does not work,” Xiarhos said.

Xiarhos said residents who attend the training feel empowered.

“We don’t want you to be lost,” he said. “We don’t want you to not know what to do.”

The training course will also cover the concept of “see something, say something.”

“It means if you see something suspicious say something. Report it,” Xiarhos said.

Months before authorities say Cruz walked into his former Florida high school and slaughtered 17 people, the troubled teen began showing what may have been missed warning signs he was bent on violence.

“Im going to be a professional school shooter,” a YouTube user with the screen name “Nikolas Cruz” posted in September.

The 19-year-old had gotten expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A former Junior ROTC cadet, he bought a military-style AR-15 carbine. And he began to participate in paramilitary drills with a white nationalist organization, according to its leader, Jordan Jereb.

Jereb, leader of Republic of Florida, said that his group seeks to create a white state. He said he didn’t know Cruz personally but was told the young man had “trouble with a girl,” and he suggested the timing of the Valentine’s Day attack wasn’t a coincidence.

Students and neighbors reported, too, that Cruz threatened and harassed others, talked about killing animals, posed with guns in disturbing photos on social media, and bragged about target practice in his backyard with a pellet gun.

In fact, students weren’t surprised when Cruz was identified as the gunman in Wednesday’s rampage.

“That is seeing something. Someone needs to say something to law enforcement right away,” Xiarhos said. “Let us handle it.”

Xiarhos said the Las Vegas shooter had planned that mass killing for a long time and people saw signs but did not report it.

“Sometimes people are afraid or hesitant because they don’t want to accuse someone of doing something when it is totally okay, but let us decide that,” Xiahros said. “We know what to do.”

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

Material from the Associated Press was used in this article.

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