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Preparing For The Active Shooters

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Its a situation you clearly hope that you never have to encounter. But local law enforcement says that reality is that shootings in public places are becoming more common, and they say the best defense is thinking about how you should react before it happens.

"It is kind of scary that that kind of stuff does go on, said Cedar Rapids Resident Bob Flood.

"It makes me more cautious when I go to public places, said Cedar Rapids Resident Kimberly Harper.

And thats a start. Authorities say the best way to keep yourself safe is to be proactive. Its no different than training that nearly everyone has gone through for other emergencies.

"You should try to be mentally prepared beforehand to say, 'If there's a fire, I'm going this way,' or 'This is where the exit is, said Major Doug Riniker from the Linn County Sheriffs Office.

Thats so that if you ever encounter an active shooter, youre ready. Thats why Major Riniker says A.L.I.C.E. Training will likely become more common as time goes on. It stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. So far, its been only used in schools, but he says it could have a much wider application.

"The days of just the lockdown, I think there's better options out there, said Major Riniker

It encourages someone trapped where theres an active shooter to find a way out if possible or even confront the suspect. Thats a risky move that has actually saved lives in other incidents.

"Some have started praying with them. Some of them have started talking to them about their family. Sometimes it's worked and sometimes it hasn't, said Sergeant Cristy Hamblin from the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

But officials say that process starts before a threat ever presents itself.

Both Lindale and Westdale Malls declined to be a part of our story today. Law Enforcement officials say their approach to dealing with active shooters is always evolving as they learn more about how to best handle those emergencies with each incident.
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