Police train LLCC community how to react to a shooter

The Lamp Online Staff

Police Chief teaches participants about how to respond to an active shooter
Police Chief Brad Gentry stands in front of a barricaded door as he talks to participants about how to respond to an active-shooter on Lincoln Land’s campus. As part of the training, participants do what they would be expected to do in the real situation, including blocking the door. (Ryan Mazrim/Lamp staff photos)

By Ryan Mazrim, staff writer

SPRINGFIELD — The staff inside Sangamon Hall 1104 on Dec. 12 were preparing for a worst-case scenario: a gunman on Lincoln Land Community College’s campus.

The LLCC Police Department was holding its “Practical Response to Active Shooters.” Faculty, staff and students were learning what to do if a gunman started shooting here on campus.

The class was created to teach people how to defend themselves in the event of a school shooting.

One of the most important steps is breaking the complacency that you couldn’t ever be a target at school. Although a terrible truth, school shootings are more common place than we care to admit.

The LLCC police say there have been about 70 active shooter events in the United States during the last four years. About a quarter of those were in schools.

School shootings are an increasingly significant problem that needs to be addressed head on by learning institutions and by implementing plans to increase survivability of anyone that walks through their doors.

Campus police officers talked to the audience about some of the sounds associated with a shooting and the importance of not second-guessing yourself if you hear them.

One of the first steps that should be made is to make yourself a difficult target of opportunity.

Officers said school shooters know they only have a few minutes. They are looking to shoot as many people as possible. Running or barring doors can be the most effective tools.

Shooters are looking for easy targets.

If those aren’t options, the seminar went step by step through some disarming techniques to possibly minimize injury and effectively strip the firearm away from the shooter should that worst case scenario arise.

The officers emphasized that it doesn’t matter so much the size
of the assailant. By learning body mechanics, one can improve one’s chances.

An armed society is a polite society. This seminar does not aim to arm people with firearms, but to arm them with the knowledge, training and the general refusal to be a victim any longer.

Some shooters believe that by going into classrooms they find victims at their most vulnerable.

With training opportunities like this and the will to fight back, this could mean the difference between being another statistic and going home for dinner.

Ryan Mazrim can reached at [email protected] or 217-786-2311.