Active shooter training

Faculty and staff proactively gathered in the Active Shooter Training at the Faculty & Staff Resource Center. 

Led by Sgt. Roman Castillo, the training covered the best practices when an active shooter is not only on campus, but in the immediate vicinity at any location.

“What I presented today is proven facts,” Castillo said. “If you do what we discussed today, your chances of survival are very high.”

Having children of his own, Castillo takes his chance to inform seriously.

“Through all my years and experience, I gathered the most pertinent information I could,” Castillo said. “Knowing that this is going to help people, I put my heart into it.”

The training also included a showing and breakdown of a video depicting an active shooter on a college campus as well as slides going over each course of action in the Run, Hide and Fight method.

The video held nothing back to which Academic & Personal Counselor Tara McCarthy appreciated.

“It was graphic, but I think it was needed,” McCarthy said. “A lot of people don’t even know what a real gunshot sounds like, so I think for people to be able to see that and have some reaction to it. It helps them realize how close this is to home and it could happen at any moment.”

McCarthy also expressed her thoughts on the event as a whole.

“I think this training is a really good start, I hope that they can continue to offer them for more faculty staff and even students so that we can be more prepared,” McCarthy said.

Captain Rodrick Armalin stressed the importance of preparation, drawing comparisons to the event of a car accident.

“When you’re in a car accident, you’re in shock, you’re trying to figure out where you are at,” Armalin said. “Same thing when you’re in class. Your body is trying to come back and figure everything out at once.”

Armalin stressed that situations of life or death need constant attention.

“Emergencies, especially active shooters, muscle memory, practice and preparing is highly important.”

Also, in attendance was Pierce’s President Alexis S. Montevirgen who felt being a part of the training was paramount.

“I actually had a meeting that was scheduled for the same time and rescheduled,” Montevirgen said. “I felt it was important to be here and show my personal commitment to campus security safety.” 

The President also expressed his plans to bring the information into classrooms.

“We have a 10 minute program we have sent out to faculty,” Montervirgen said. “In the classes, they’ll actually do a 10 minute session to inform the student in that class. It’s important that students are made aware of what they can do in similar situations.”

Going one step further, Montevirgen contemplates increased student involvement.

“I’m planning on checking with student government to see if there are opportunities to a session similar to this with them or student leaders,” Montevirgen said.

For anyone that was unable to attend, Castillo offers advice to share.

“Don’t think it can’t happen to you,” Castillo said. “Wherever you’re at it can happen to you. You need to prepare to stay alive.” 

The video shown, as well as other useful information is available online at www.lasd.org under the resources, active shooter tab.