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Putnam Sheriff Offers Free Survival Training For 'Active Shooter' Incidents

Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith speaks at Putnam Valley's Veterans Day ceremony.
Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith speaks at Putnam Valley's Veterans Day ceremony. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

Putnam County Sheriff Don Smith announced on Wednesday that his Sheriff's Office  is offering training to citizens in how to respond to active shooter incidents.

The free training uses a nationally devised instruction model called Citizen Response to Active Shooter Events, called “CRASE.”

CRASE is being offered as an extension of an existing local initiative called Operation Safe Putnam, a program designed to empower citizens with strategies for deterring violent crimes. The new training course is available to anyone who lives, works or worships in Putnam County.

In recent months, several widely publicized mass shooting incidents have occurred in communities throughout the country, serving as the latest grim reminders that no community -- large or small, urban or rural -- is immune to violence,  the Sheriff's Office said in a press statement. Those incidents have prompted local schools, businesses and civic organizations to assess, or reassess, their level of preparedness in guarding against such attacks.

In Putnam, as elsewhere, citizens are turning to law enforcement for information and guidance. In response, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has brought CRASE to the County. Several members of the office recently earned certifications as CRASE instructors, enabling them to provide the nationally-recognized training to local residents.

The CRASE training course is based upon the strategies of “Avoid, Deny and Defend” and provides trainees with a proven plan for surviving active shooter events. Training topics include a review of the history and prevalence of active shooter events, recommended civilian response options, medical issues and guidance for conducting preparedness drills.

The CRASE curriculum was developed in 2004 by Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) in partnership with Texas State University (TSU). In 2013, the FBI selected the TSU program to serve as a national model and the ALERRT curriculum was designated as the National Standard in Active Shooter Response Training.

Federal grant funding by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance has enabled the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office to offer CRASE training free of charge. The training can be customized to meet the needs of any organization, including office buildings, retail stores, medical facilities, manufacturing sites and places of worship. Instructors are available any day of the week, excluding holidays.

For more details about CRASE, or to schedule an on-site consultation and safety assessment, interested persons may send an email to crase@putnamcountyny.gov or call (845) 808-4325 .

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