Alaskans train for preparedness in event of an active shooter

Published: Mar. 23, 2019 at 10:58 PM AKDT
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In the wake of the mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, Alaskans are taking proactive steps to prepare themselves in the event of an active shooter scenario.

The training is called "church security and intruder awareness training," and is the brainchild of a lifelong Alaskan and former police officer named Donna Anthony. Anthony is the CEO of Point Blank Firearms and Self Defense Training.

"You can sit there and show a video for an active shooter -- like most companies do for 30 minutes -- but that's not enough training,” she said. “You've got to hand them the tools and the knowledge and the resources of what to do if something happens."

Anthony says she was injured in the line of duty while working as a police officer, and she decided to apply her knowledge to help others learn how to defend themselves.

Jill Black participated in Saturday’s training. She is involved with a local group called Well-Armed Women, and she spends time training with firearms at shooting ranges – in large part to protect her family in case they’re involved in an active shooter situation.

"It's just full-on panic mode of -- it's happening in a split second and I'm thinking about my family, and that I need to protect my family,” Black said. “And it's a big decision to make, but the biggest thing you can do is train."

The goal of Saturday’s training was to prepare the Palmer church (which has asked not to be named for safety purposes) for a potential shooting by training a small security team. They simulated the events leading up to the shootings in Christchurch – it took three attempts to disarm the mock shooter.

Black says that even though the shooter in these mock scenarios was armed with a non-lethal weapon, she was still afraid.

“They're not telling you they're coming. It's very tough and mentally challenging to be in that mindset,” Black said. “But that's unfortunately where we have to be."

Where we have to be, Black says, is living in a world where 50 innocent people can die in a matter of minutes, murdered during prayer at two mosques in Christchurch.

Donna Anthony is touring around the US, teaching church security and intruder awareness. She leaves the state on Monday, bound for a training in Kentucky.

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