ALICE is a proactive response to an active shooter situation in any populated environment: schools, businesses, churches, malls, theaters, and other organizations. Traditional responses to active shooter situations focused on locking doors and hiding. In contrast, ALICE encourages people to evacuate the facility as quickly as possible as a first response, barricade entrances to enhance door locks, and actively fight back when necessary.

ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate. ALICE is not in sequential order.

Traditional Response vs. Alice Response

Traditional response to an intruder is to “lockdown”. This usually includes turning off the lights, closing and locking the doors, and huddling together on the floor if there is a group of people. In addition, traditional lockdown uses coded announcements that are often confusing. Traditional lockdown was never intended for active shooter events.

In contrast, ALICE Response is much more comprehensive:

  • Alert everyone of the danger. ALICE recommends using plan language, not coded language (Code Red, etc.). Clearly communicate Who, What, When, Where, and How so all occupants can make informed decisions.
  • Inform the key players of the emergency response team. This includes onsite security, law enforcement, and employees on-site or off.
  • Lockdown entrances between the shooter and people and barricade these with tables, chairs, and other objects.
  • Evacuate the facility as the first response, using non-traditional means like breaking windows if necessary.
  • Counter an active shooter as a last result to create difficulty with shooting accuracy and provide distractions. Throw objects at an attacker to diminish shooting accuracy. Swarm tactics should be used by people closest the shooter, using body weight and gravity to take down the shooter.

ALICE promotes what they call the ALICE Blended Model.

  1. Build a team with key players within your community i.e. (Chief of Police, Safety and Security Teams, PTA, Buy-in with Stakeholders). Hold an awareness meeting to gain formal approval and adoption. Select team members and define roles and responsibilities.
  2. Conduct needs assessment focusing on risks and vulnerabilities. Set strategic goals and objectives based on assessment results.
  3. Implementation preparation, criteria for rally points, communications warnings, accounting for all persons, family night & reunification, mental health & age considerations, media considerations, policy, plan & procedures approval.
  4. Conduct Training, train staff/students with e-learning. Conduct practical demonstrations and or scenarios. On-going training for re-certs & new hires.
  5. Evaluate implementation, test staff/students w/ e-learning, test staff/students using drills, re-evaluate steps 3 & 4 for completion, schedule next round of training.

Overall, ALICE helps businesses and schools take a realistic look at what typically happens in an active shooter situation, become aware of strategies that will help mitigate the danger, and then train employees, faculty, and students on how to best respond.



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