What is ALICE?
The ALiCE training program is designed to supplement current “Lockdown” or “Secure-in-Place” procedures used frequently in schools as a stand-alone defensive strategy for an extremely violent attack. Recent events have dictated the need of enhanced options provided to building occupants to increase their chances of surviving a horrific event.
What does ALICE stand for?
A.L.i.C.E is the protocol adopted by the Wilmington Public Schools in the unlikely event of an armed intruder into one of our buildings. A.L.i.C.E is an acronym for
Alert – inform people of the threat, giving as much information as possible.
Lockdown – Students and Staff can choose to lockdown and barricade the room that they are in if they determine that it is not safe to evacuate.
Inform – pass on as much information as possible to others and to First Responders, including contacting 911.
Counter – an effort of last resort, if an armed intruder is able to get into the space that they are in; students are being trained to use every effort to stop the intruder instead of being passive victims.
Evacuate – If it is safe to do so, all are encouraged to evacuate the building, and remove themselves from the threat.
Are you saying that people have to follow A.L.i.C.E in order? Are you supposed to Alert, then lockdown, then inform?
A.L.i.C.E is NOT meant to be a check list of things to do. It is a list of choices we are offering our students and staff in order to stay safe in the highly unlikely event of an armed intruder. Some may choose to evacuate and some may choose to lockdown and barricade. Others may be forced to counter if an armed intruder is able to enter the space they are in. A.L.i.C.E is about giving people choices.
Is the adoption of the A.L.i.C.E Protocol an admission that the schools are not safe?
School is still the safest place for children to be. However, just like practicing what we should do in a fire with our monthly fire drills, we want to be sure that we will know what to do in the very unlikely event of an armed intruder in school.
If my child gets proactive, couldn’t they get hurt?
Yes, they could. But being passive and static has not shown to be an effective response in most Active Shooter events. The differences of tragic outcomes in the classrooms at Virginia Tech are a good example explaining the difference of passive and active and determining survival chances.
Is there a possibility of secondary attacks if people are trying to leave the area?
There is always a possibility of a secondary attack, no matter what the event. But our fear of the unknown should not interfere with our manner of dealing with the known. Common sense says a shooter inside the building should dictate getting out, much more than the fear of perhaps another shooter outside should dictate staying inside with the known shooter. Any shooters outside will be contacted and neutralized by police much quicker than one inside the building.
Will parents have the opportunity to see the video used in the HS and MS training?
Can parents get a list of the evacuation sites for each school?
In the event a school needs to evacuate to an off-site location, you will receive information from the school or district through email and phone call via our Connect 5 system, regarding the location and procedure for being reunified with your child. For safety reasons, evacuation sites will only be made available in the event a school needs to evacuate off-site.
Should we be teaching aggression in schools?
This training is teaching proactive, survival skills. Aggressiveness is a mindset that will assist a person in putting those skills to work.
How will parents be notified if their child’s school is in lockdown?
Notification will be sent out using the Connect5 system both by voice and by email.
Isn’t this what the police are for?
The police cannot be at all places, all of the time. The average response time for law enforcement is 5-6 minutes. Hundreds of rounds can be expended in just mere minutes. A.L.i.C.E. is a protocol that is enacted to increase survival and safety in those minutes that Law Enforcement is in-route.
Will WPD be in schools to help teachers become aware of surrounding and provide scenarios/possibilities for an active shooter situation?
The WPD and WPS, with the cooperation of the NEMLEC STARS team, have been training staff in the A.L.i.C.E Protocol since 2013. Wilmington Police Officers are always present during drills in order to provide targeted feedback to staff
Do we want the bad guy to know that we know where he is?
There is nothing we could tell him that he doesn’t already know.
Won’t proactive actions agitate the gunman to commit violence?
It is accepted that these people seek one thing – as big a body count as they can achieve in the time afforded to them. There is no way to make a determined killer be more violent than they are already.
Will teaching staff and students to be proactive increase our liability?
Regardless of what policy is in place, should a violent event occur on the campus, all involved agencies, and individuals, will be sued. How should we set ourselves up to defend our actions: We set out a precise set of procedures for potential victims to follow (and it didn’t work), or, We provided information a range of options that those in danger could follow based on their situation at any given moment during the event.
Who should make the decision as to what is the best option to take?
Those under attack should make the decision that is best for them given the situation. It is unrealistic to think we can write a policy that ten years down the road will precisely fit the violent situation we are experiencing. Information and training is what will allow those under attack to make an informed decision to Fight, Flight, or Freeze, and that will lead to their survival.
Won’t we lose control of the event if people make their own decision and do whatever they decide they need to do??
Yes, there will be a time when centralized Command and Control will be lost. But in actuality, there is anyway. During the initial attack, the attacker is in control. Proactive action on behalf of the targets, will quickly remove his Command and Control. Also, Command and Control ability of the Administration and Police is secondary to the ability of those under attack to survive.
Why change something that has always worked?
Has “Lockdown” really worked, or have just the practice drills always worked? We know the names of many schools around the world precisely because “Lockdown” did not meet their needs during the violence, and tragedy ensued.
Could we be training our future “enemy”?
Yes, we could. But there could very well be a deterrent effect caused due to this training if the future attacker knows their goals of a body-count will be very limited at this institution.
How will the information be presented to children at the Early Childhood, Elementary and Intermediate levels?
All drills and training will be age appropriate. WPS and WPD work together to be sure that we do not scare or confuse elementary students while at the same time getting them the information they need if an event occurs.