The Alabama Department of Homeland Security is receiving quite a bit of press surrounding a video it released in an effort to educate the public about active shooter scenarios.
The clip, entitled "Run Hide Fight," is a dramatic reenactment that showcases steps one should take in the event of an emergency situation. While some outlets such as the Associated Press and Gawker are reporting that "the video's release is in direct response to the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary," the active shooter video was published well before the horrific tragedy.
TheBlaze spoke with Jeremy King, deputy communications director for Gov. Robert Bentley's office on Wednesday in an effort to clarify the video's origins. King explained that the clip, despite getting a plethora of attention this week, was already being distributed by the state's Homeland Security department before the Connecticut shooting. An upload date on the original clip verifies this as well (it was uploaded Nov. 5; the shooting unfolded on Dec. 14).
"The Alabama Department of Homeland Security was already taking active steps to engage the public in ways to deal with an active shooter [before Sandy Hook]," he said. "There were efforts [aimed at] working with law enforcement [and] training -- those efforts were already underway."
Photo Credit: YouTube
Among the provisions already being publicized at the time was a hot-line that residents could use to report suspicious activity. King did note that Gov. Bentley ordered a more coordinated, strategic plan following the Connecticut shooting -- something that the state announced in a press release on Dec. 17. However, steps were already being taken to engage professionals and the public on these key issues.
In preparing for the formal long-range plan to help all facets of the public deal with an active shooting situation, a press release from last month outlined the three top priorities:
- Continue and expand training for law enforcement in how to respond to and combat an active shooter event
- Engage the private sector in sharing information, and educate the general public on how to respond to an active shooter event
- Continue work with the Alabama Department of Education, utilizing the Virtual Alabama system, which makes school safety plans immediately accessible to first responders
The release mentions the video as well as a web site where the clip is embedded. King previously told the Associated Press that the video was originally produced by the Houston Police Department and that it was repackaged for Alabama with an introduction added in by state Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier.
Photo Credit: YouTube
Throughout TheBlaze's interview, King corrected the Gawker and the AP account that the "Run Hide Fight" video was released in response to the Connecticut shooting. The AP story read:
Although the video was made before the Connecticut shootings, Collier said it was originally scheduled to be distributed in January. But that was moved up because of the shooting at the elementary school.
Collier said the video will be offered for training purposes to law enforcement agencies. It will also be used to help train education officials and private employers.
As already noted, though, the video, which depicts a workplace shooting, has been available since Nov. 5 on the Homeland Security agency's YouTube page -- thus, it was not released as a result of the shooting. It continues to be advertised on the state government's web site, where a list of tips about how to handle a dangerous situation is also presented.