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Boise Police active shooter training has long wait list, but another class planned

A free training offered today to the public by the Boise Police Department to provide tips to survive an active shooter situation is at capacity with 130 participants — and another 65 people are on the waiting list for the next training, a police spokeswoman said last week.

Mass shootings in schools and other public places, including churches, malls and concerts, has heightened local interest in safety measures.

The good news: Active shooters are so rare in Boise that police cannot recall one. These incidents are defined by the federal government as those in which an person is "engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area."

Boise Police Officer Kevin Wittmuss does a half dozen presentations each month at local businesses and for large groups of 100 or more, BPD spokeswoman Haley Williams said.

The department recently began offering trainings at City Hall West, 333 N. Mark Stall Place, for those who work at smaller businesses that may not have a human resources department to organize a training and for other individuals in the community.

"We're going to try to offer them quarterly," Williams said.

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They've been doing active shooter trainings in schools about six or seven years, one of a number of "lockdown drills" students go through. Businesses and groups began asking for the same information about five years ago, Williams said.

The curriculum for the training was developed over the years by Boise Police, starting with the principles of the national run-hide-fight protocol. The basics: Get out of the building, if you can. If you can't escape, hide. Be prepared to fight, if you must. Thinking about the different scenarios in advance could help save your life, officials say.

As part of his presentation, Wittmuss does a PowerPoint presentation, shows videos, shares statistics and answers participant questions.

"He tries to get people to think and interact," Williams said.

The date of the next training has not yet been announced. If you're interested in participating, email Boise Police at Skendall@cityofboise.org or call 208-570-6073.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413

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