Community Services Sgt. Rick Hardy of the Grove City Division of Police hopes no one in their life will have to use the training they learn from the division's new class.
"But at least they'll have the knowledge if they do," Hardy said. "It's about getting people to think outside to box. 'What can I do to protect myself?' "
The police division is offering Grove City and Jackson Township residents the chance to participate in an Active Shooter Response class and learn a variety of safety topics and basic survival skills in the event of a hostile, violent situation.
The class will be held from from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at the Kingston Center, 3226 Kingston Ave. Class size is limited to 40 participants. Currently, one class is being offered, but Hardy said the division is open to hosting more if the response is good.
Hardy said the class should provoke a lot of discussion about, "What would I do if."
"In law enforcement, we train on those what-ifs," he said. "We want (people) to think ahead."
Hardy is certified in a law enforcement training program known as ALICE, which stands for Alert Lockdown Inform Counter and Evacuate. Elements of the program will be applied in the class. It's essentially a "law-enforcement best practices" Hardy said the division wanted to make available to the public.
"By no means do we tell anyone this is what you must do, only that you must do something," he said. "A lot of it is situational awareness."
In addition to being aware and more forward thinking, participants will also learn the importance of taking action, such as knowing when to evacuate instead of hiding.
"Many people think let's sit here and wait to be rescued," Hardy said. "You could be there a long time. ... I've had people tell me they can't break windows because it's their employer's property, (but) a window can be replaced."
In additional to conversation, the class will involve some physical exercises, such as barricading a room and using items to better secure it. There also will be mental exercises.
Participants must be 18 or older by June 30, and pass a criminal background check. No one with an active warrant for arrest or a history of violent crimes is permitted, and weapons will not be permitted in the training area. Cost is $5 for residents.
Register online on the Grove City website, grovecityohio.gov, or call 614-277-3050 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Participants can also register in person at the Grove City Parks and Recreation office, 4035 Broadway.