Ottawa Co. active shooter training teaches ‘avoid, deny, defend’

WEST OLIVE, Mich.— For some in Ottawa County, Saturday morning was spent learning from an expert about what to do in the all too common case of an active shooter scenario.

Sergeant Chris Koster with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office has been teaching the class for nearly a year.

The ‘CRASE’ course, which stands for civilian response to active shooter events has been in high demand, according to Koster, as mass shootings and the threats of shootings become more common in schools and public places.

An EMT with the Saugatuck Township Fire Department was there she says, in case she’s called to a shooting.

“It’s always in the back of our mind, I feel like anywhere you go,” Heather Beek says.

The class deters people from misconceptions like playing dead for an attacker. Instead, Koster encourages people to use the ‘A.D.D.’ strategy, which stands for avoid, deny and defend.

“We talk about some of the psychology of the denial that people are gonna deny what’s going on at first,” Koster says. “What we encourage people to do is if they can get out to get out as quickly as possible and as safely as possible.”

Koster teaches the ‘CRASE’ course once a month. The next class is July 17 from 7-10 p.m. at the West Olive Fillmore Complex. To register, click here. The classes are free but you must be 18 years old or older to attend.

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