POLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The Poland Township Police Department is working in collaboration with the Poland Local School District and trustees on a major coordinated police training called ALERRT.

ALERRT is a federally funded, nationally recognized active shooter training course out of Texas. It stands for Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.

ALERRT is a new approach to school shooter safety developed after the Robb Elementary School tragedy that happened in Uvalde, Texas last May.

Last month, the police department approached the school district to use its vacant elementary school for the new and innovative active shooter training. So, the classrooms, hallways and gymnasium of the old Union Elementary School are being used for the training.

The training, in part, is designed to prepare law enforcement officers to isolate, distract and neutralize an active shooter.

“It has changes to the one we were using before which was ALICE. So it improves it. There’s more techniques, more innovative, and they continue to grow and develop strategies because this is ever-changing and ever-evolving,” said Superintendent Craig Hockenberry.

Those in the school district are not the only ones benefiting from the training course. Thirteen officers from 12 area agencies in Northeast Ohio are also participating in the program to become ALERRT certified trainers.

“Now they are eligible after a few more trainings to go back and train the trainers. So they will continue to train their school resource officers and involve them as well,” Hockenberry said.

Officers will train at the elementary school twice a month until the program is completed.

“We constantly gotta be training. We never know what’s going to happen and to be ready and prepared is extremely important, not just for our staff and students but the community as well,” Hockenberry said.

Trustees and the school district continue to work together to make Poland schools, their staff and students safe.

Police officers who would like to attend an ALERRT training session should contact Sgt. Rob Whited at the Austintown Police Department.