Neal Sandlin

Cleburne Police Sgt. Neal Sandlin discusses active shooter events and training on Wednesday to the Cleburne Lions Club.



Cleburne Police Sgt. Neal Sandlin discussed active shooter events and training on Wednesday with the Cleburne Lions Club. 

From 2000-17, there were about 280 active shooter events, Sandlin said. From 2000-06, there were an average of six events per year. From 2012-17, there were an average of 22 events per year.

These events are becoming more commonplace, he said, with businesses being the most common place. The number then goes to schools, churches and other types of locations. 

There is no profile for an active shooter, with them ranging in age, race and political affiliations. 

“They all have the ‘avenger’ mindset,” he said. “They all think they’ve been wronged in some way.”

Some use social media to broadcast their beliefs to others. 

“Take those posts seriously,” he said. “Listen to your ‘spidey sense.’ We all have it.” 

When someone is stressed out, people react in three ways: fight, flight or freeze. Train yourself and practice how you would react to an attack so your body knows what to do.

When there’s an active attack, law enforcement’s first goal is to stop the killing and then they will tend the wounded. 

Listen and do what law enforcement officials ask you to do. Also make sure you don’t have anything in your hands.   



There are two types of trainings that are good to learn: CRASE and ALICE.  

CRASE training — Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events — is a course that provides strategies, guidance and a proven plan for surviving an active shooter event.

The program is designed and built on the Avoid, Deny and Defend strategy developed by Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training initiative, Sandlin said. Topics include the history and prevalence of active shooter events, civilian response options, medical issues and considerations for conducting drills.  

ALICE training — Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate — is a another set of proactive, options-based strategies that increase your chances of survival during a violent intruder or active shooter event.

Each part of the ALICE training comes with different steps:

• Alert: This stage is when someone becomes aware of a threat, which is overcoming denial, recognizing the signs of danger and receiving notifications about the danger from others. Alert should be taken seriously, and should help you make survival decisions based on the circumstances.

• Lockdown: If evacuation is not a safe option, barricade entry points into your room in an effort to create a semi-secure starting point.

• Inform: The purpose of inform is to continue to communicate information in as real time as possible, if it is safe to do so. Armed intruder situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly, which means that ongoing, real time information is key to making effective survival decisions.

• Counter: Create noise, movement, distance and distraction with the intent of reducing the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately. This doesn’t mean fighting. Creating a dynamic environment decreases the shooter’s chance of hitting a target and can provide time in order to escape.

• Evacuate: Go to a safe area that takes people out of harm’s way and prevents civilians from having to come into any contact with the shooter. ALICE trainers teach strategies for evacuating through windows, from higher floors and under extreme duress.

For information about CRASE, visit For information about ALICE, visit For more information about other safety and security initiatives CISD has implemented, visit, hover over “District Info” and click on “Safety and Security.”

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