RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)— Citizens and law enforcement officers showed up to the Patrick Henry Building to deal with what appeared to be an attack, but it was actually a drill to help them prepare in case of a real-life situation.
The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services held an Active Attack Civilian Preparedness Training in Richmond Wednesday. The training taught citizens and trained law enforcement officers how to react to during a real-world active attack.
Adam Keene, Active Attack Program Coordinator, said the class showed people how to avoid, deny and defend an attack and how to treat injured people at a scene.
“Law enforcement, first responders they’re not going to get there quick enough. Only you can save you and what you do matters,” he said.
Keene said national attacks are becoming more frequent. He mentioned the Boston Marathon bombing and the Virginia Tech shooting as examples during the session.
Historically, only first responders could participate in this training. Now, the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services offers the classes to every citizen in the state at no cost, said Keene.
Vivian Flynn, a citizen, signed up for the training for the first time.
“One of the main things I’m going to do when I go home is I’m going to go over my notes and I’m going to practice it in my mind, so I know how to react properly,” she said.
Flynn said she’s an older adult who has children. She wants to use this training to keep those around her safe.
“You understand that if you’re out there at a Walmart and something were to happen, you can make a difference and help to save someone,” she said.
The DCJS offers online classes every Thursdays, but their next stop for in-person training will be in New Kent on June 2.