Franklin County responds to increased demand for active shooter training courses

March CRASE event marks third training in four months

FRANKLIN CO., Va. – The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is adding additional CRASE training courses in response to an increased demand for the classes from the community.

After the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February and a shooting at a high school in Maryland just over a week ago, Sheriff Bill Overton said his department is seeing more requests from people in the Franklin County community for active shooter training courses.

The CRASE training, which stands for Citizen's Response to Active Shooter Events, focuses on what to do in an active shooter situation. Overton said it is important to think about and prepare for such situations.

"We're living in some really troubling times in our world and in our country," he said. "As the school superintendent reported in Maryland at the last shooting, after Parkland, he was very emotional and I think he drove home the point - don't think that this cannot happen in your community, because it can."

Overton said the most important lesson is to do something. That's why he says their classes are focused on the premise of avoid, deny and defend. 

It seems basic enough in theory, but he said thinking about what you would do and preparing to take action makes all the difference. He says for many, the automatic response in an active shooter situation would be to shut down or hide.

By practicing these situations and how to react, he said you can teach your body how to respond.

"The point that we're driving home is, unfortunately, if you find yourself in a position or place where there's an active shooter, do something," said Overton. "Don't just find yourself in a position trying to hide. Get yourself away from that situation or, if confronted, do something."

He says whether that's defending yourself or finding a way to escape the scene, your reaction should vary based on the situation. Thinking ahead about different scenarios and how to respond can help better prepare you if that worst-case situation were to happen.

Preregistration is required for the free training events. For more information on Wednesday's event and the event on April 12, click here.