New Montgomery Billboard: Active Shooter Protocol

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By Ashley Thompson

If you've driven down interstate 85 in Montgomery, you may have noticed a new billboard between the Eastern Blvd. and Perry Hill Road exits. Its message may surprise you.

 

 

Run. Hide. Fight. Those are three words on a new billboard in Montgomery advising people what to do if an active shooter is on the loose. We spoke with some people who've seen the billboard to get their take on it. Some thought the new ad was spot on.

"That's just human nature," says Michaela Starke. "You just do what you have to do to stay safe or keep people around you safe."

Alabama News Network tracked down the person behind the billboard. Spencer Collier is the Director of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security. He also plays Senior Law Enforcement Advisor to Governor Bentley. He tells us the billboards are in cities across the state and that they're part of a multiphase plan to combat any active shooter crisis.

"This is the first step," says Collier. It's the most visible step. Additionally we're developing curriculum, train the trainer curriculum, where we will physically go out, work with the private sector, whether it be they're security officers or whoever they designate."

Collier says active shooters are becoming more and more common and says Governor Bentley has charged him specifically with coming out with a plan to try to keep the citizens of Alabama safer.

"There are three basic principals," he explains. "If you can escape, run and escape...if you can do it safely. If that's not an option then you need to hide and barricade yourself. If that's not an option, being passive is no longer an option so the third and final possibility would be to fight. Don't just passively let an active shooter take your life."

However, not everyone agrees with his message. Diana Patterson says the billboard just doesn't make sense to her.

"How can you run, hide and then fight?" she asks. "If you're going to fight, you have to fight then. Whatever you need to do to save you, you always need to try to do that."

Others say they may resort to other strategies aside from those Collier laid out.

"I would probably run but if it's a place where you can't run, the best thing to do is try to act as calm as you can," says Betty Johnson.

Collier says these are steps you need to take before first responders arrive on the scene. He says they are not intended for schools.

For more active shooter information and to see a video with an active shooter scenario, visit http://fusion.alabama.gov/ or http://dhs.alabama.gov/activeshooter.aspx

 

 



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