With acts of violence seeming to take center stage both nationally and globally, the Ocean View Police Department is working to make citizens feel safer in their community.
With that in mind, the department will be hosting CRASE — Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events — on Thursday, May 17, at its headquarters from 5 to 7 p.m.
“We just did one in Frankford and had about 50 people turn out,” said OVPD Sgt. Rhys Bradshaw. “We’ve gotten great feedback.”
The class, which is free and open to the public, will be taught by OVPD Chief Ken McLaughlin and will teach civilians how to “avoid, deny and defend” in the face of an active shooter situation.
“Unfortunately, we’ve been seeing a lot more of these incidents,” said Bradshaw. “It basically teaches civilians what to do in case of an active shooter at their place of employment, or wherever they’re at. And an active-shooter situation — it doesn’t just mean somebody with a gun. It could be someone with a knife. Vehicles are being used more often. It’s just teaches civilians how to protect themselves and others.”
Those who attend will also be taught by Sussex County Paramedics how to handle injuries.
“They’ll also go through some basic first aid — stop the bleed and hands-only CPR — so they can treat themselves or someone else,” Bradshaw said. “Sussex County EMS will have people there with hands-on stations where they can practice tourniquets, stuffing wounds, things like that.”
The program is taught in cooperation with Texas State University and the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.
The course focuses on having civilians gain an understanding of what emergency services do in such a situation, so they may be prepared and understand the response.
“It’s important for everyone to be on the same page — all the emergency-response teams are on the same page; all the citizens are on the same page. It’s just going to make for a more effective response and hopefully a better outcome,” said McLaughlin. “They’re going to be there, be present… In fact, they’re going to be there before we’re going to be there, so they need to understand how to protect themselves, No. 1, and, No. 2, how to conduct themselves when police and fire get to the scene.”
McLaughlin said the course can be empowering for those who attend, because they learn what to do in case such a tragic situation were to occur.
“Even if they have a basic knowledge of what’s going on,” he said, they can benefit from the course.
For more information or to register a large group, contact OVPD Chief Ken McLaughlin at (302) 539-1111 or email Kenneth.firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Maria Counts