WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Would you know what to do if an active shooter or violent intruder entered your workplace or the business you own?
After repeated active shooter training requests from businesses in the Wilmington area, the Wilmington Police Department decided to present the ALICE method to businesses so they could prepare themselves and their employees for an unexpected potentially tragic situation.
ALICE — which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate — is the first training program in the country that provides staff and students with an option-based response to an active shooter gaining entry to a school, business, or organization. The aim is to eradicate the "It can't happen to me" mentality and change the way people think, which can empower them to make their own life-saving decisions.
"We get told about schools all the time but we forget these type of events happen in businesses also," Lt. Kelvin Hargrove with WPD said. "We need business owners and their employees to be prepared for these situations when they occur."
Hargrove stated that, according to the FBI, 42 percent of the mass shootings where three or more people were killed or injured took place inside businesses.
"They have to do something," Hargrove said. "They can't sit around and be victimized. Something has to be done. We cannot turn a deaf ear."
Participants in ALICE training Tuesday were shown videos of attacks at Columbine and several other schools as well as hearing harrowing 911 calls from many business attacks.
Hargrove hopes the biggest takeaway for businesses will be to educate their employees on the information they learned.
"The time is now to prepare because these types of acts are occurring on a regular basis," Hargrove said. "I want these business owners to have the tools to counter a perpetrator and not fall victim."
Participants also took part in a question-and-answer session on firearm laws following the main presentation.