Starting as an officer at 21, Cpl. Drew Reed said he thought everybody loved police.
“I did, until I got into a fight with a guy who robbed a Kangaroo and he wouldn’t show me his hands,” the Gainesville Police corporal said.
He later saw that the man was reaching for a knife. Similar to incidents faced by police, Reed spoke to an audience at the Gainesville Public Safety Complex on how to respond to active shooter events.
Citizens gathered Wednesday night at the Gainesville complex to learn how to respond to these high-stress situations.
“We’re not promising you that you’re going to survive, but if you’re mentally prepared … your chances of survival greatly increase,” Reed said. “You have to prepare yourself.”
The course is titled Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, a program that goes hand-in-hand with the techniques taught to law enforcement.
“Before Columbine, law enforcement did not really have any standard to respond to any kind of active shooter training,” Cpl. Jessica Van said.
Most agencies now learn through the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training from Texas State University, which informs officers on how to assess active shooter events.
For the two-hour presentation, Reed and Van presented audio and video clips from infamous incidents like Columbine and Virginia Tech.
Reed’s presentation focused on the three ideas of “avoid, deny and defend.” The tips included knowing the exits, locking doors, keeping out of sight and finding items to fight.
Some in the audience did not feel comfortable fighting back and said they would prefer to avoid by fleeing.
“If you cross that threshold (to defend)… you better be ready to die and better be ready to take another human life if you have to,” Reed said.