University of Akron leads the way in ALICE school intruder training

26,000 northeast Ohio students, staff trained

AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron leads the way when in comes to intruder training in northeast Ohio.

Lt. Chad Cunningham with a the University of Akron Police Department had been leading "Alice" training at the college since August 2008.

"A.L.I.C.E." stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate. The program teaches students and staff how to improve their chances of survival if they're confronted by an intruder.

Lt. Cunningham believes improving the flow of information is one of the best ways to respond to a gunman who makes his way onto school property.

"How can we empower our faculty, staff and students on the mental mindset of survivability," explained Cunningham. "We best provide information by looking at video cameras, by giving announcements, by text messaging. Any way we can get that information out to increase that empowerment."

The University of Akron police have taught "Alice" training to more than 26,000 students and staff, both on and off campus over the past four years.

The training program teaches those facing a gunman how to scatter, escape, create barricades out of common classroom items, and even confront intruders when left with no other options.

Lt. Cunningham told NewsChannel5 placing a school on "lockdown" isn't enough on its own.

"We look to enhance that lockdown, one way is by creating barricades. If we rely on one little lock, that isn't enough," said Cunningham. "We look at how to use other stuff in the classroom to assist with the barricade."

The nationally-renowned A.L.I.C.E. training was developed following examination of school shootings, like the one that occurred at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999.

The University of Akron Police have posted an A.L.I.C.E. training video on its website, as part of its on-going education effort.

The police will conduct  yet another A.L.I.C.E. training session at the University of Akron Child Developmental Center, starting at 2 p.m. on Dec. 18.

Lt. Cunningham explained how the Newtown shootings have hit him emotionally, and is committed to continuing his all important training.

"The incident has created a lot of mix emotions for me," explained Cunningham. "A lot of sadness, and upset someone could do this."

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