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Texas State’s ALERRT Center awarded $9.8 million in funds from DOJ

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center will receive $9.8 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Congressman Lloyd Doggett recently announced. 

The funds ALERRT will receive will expand training for roughly 17,000 additional first responders, Doggett said. 

“Initially created in response to a troubling event in Hays County, ALERRT has saved many lives through its valuable training,” Doggett said. “At a time when there is so much concern about gun violence and a Governor unwilling to take reasonable action to prevent another tragedy, I am pleased that these funds will ensure more of our first responders are prepared to respond to the inevitable next active shooter event.” 

The grant funding comes as a Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant from the DOJ under the Preparing for Active Shooter Situations (PASS) program.

“The COPS Office is proud to support all the first responders across the country who bravely risk their own safety to protect our communities,” COPS Office Acting Director Robert Chapman said. “The ALERRT Center is a proven leader in providing multidisciplinary active shooter training, and we’re pleased to announce this additional funding to continue their efforts.”

ALERRT Center provides multidisciplinary, scenario-based active shooter training to first responders. Texas State said a large portion of the funding will help train first responders in how to be instructors so they can return to their communities across the county and train other in Integrated Response Training Program. TXST added that ALERRT will also expand and develop more e-learning capabilities. 

“This money will allow us to train approximately 17,000 first responders from across the country to more effectively serve their communities,” said Pete Blair, executive director of the ALERRT Center.

The federal grant ALERRT Center will receive comes from the Protecting Our Lives through Initiating COPS Expansion (POLICE) Act, which was sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and U.S. Rep. John Carter. The POLICE act — signed into law on July 22, 2016 — authorizes local law enforcement agencies and other first responders to utilize COPS grants to train and better prepare for active shooter situations. 

According to TXST, the law encourages law enforcement departments to use programs such as Integrated Response Training at ALERRT, which teaches local law enforcement, fire and EMS officials to work together in response to an active shooter situation.

COPS Office funding through the PASS program has provided active shooter training for approximately 55,000 first responders across the nation since 2017, according to TXST. More information about the PASS program can be found at https://cops.usdoj.gov/pass-award.

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