BY VICTOR MALDONADO
Photo courtesy of Victor Maldonado. Public Safety Officer, Lawrence Ponce discusses new ALICE training.
College of the Desert’s Public Safety Academy strives to keep faculty, staff and students safe. As a result, a new form of training has been implemented this year called ALICE. It’s goal is to prepare all COD staff and faculty to be prepared for a school shooting if one should occur.
With so many shootings on college campuses throughout the country, it’s only natural that schools start preparing for the worst. ALICE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. The program prepares staff to handle tough situations by providing adequate preparation and plans on how to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event.
“Security can only observe, we can’t really intervene since we aren’t law enforcement and we don’t have weapons,” says Public Safety Officer, Lawrence Ponce. “Since we aren’t law enforcement, we can’t really do much except alert authorities and keep people at a safe distance. Security does quarterly training to deal with combative people and other things such as bomb training.”
Faculty and staff play a big role if such a crisis were to occur. The ALICE training provides people with options and ways to handle active shooter situations so there is a bigger chance of survival for everyone. The ALICE program specifically focuses on school shootings.
The Public Safety Academy at COD is doing quarterly trainings to help prepare for tragedies like shootings. Security is providing the knowledge needed to keep everyone on campus safe. Everyone from security to faculty and staff will understand their role if something like a school shooting were to take place at COD.
Ponce says we should prepare for the worst so students, faculty and staff don’t have to worry.