Cape Girardeau City Employees Participate in Active Killer Response Training

Officer Couch discussing options to counteract active killers
Officer Couch discussing options to counteract active killers

Schools. Shopping malls. Movie theaters. Office buildings. Places where you spend much of your time with family, friends and other loved ones have become targets of terror in recent years. Do you have what it takes to survive when faced with an active killer?

The answer is, with the right training and tools, everyone can greatly increase their chances of surviving an active killer situation.

Employees from all City departments recently met at City Hall with City of Cape Girardeau Police Department instructors Officer Richard Couch and Corporal Darren Estes, and others, to discuss the process of Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate (ALICE) should an active killer ever enter a building.

This was the first of many ALICE training sessions that will be held for every City Employee in coming months. Working in, and being responsible for, many public buildings and gatherings makes ALICE training important for all City Employees.

During the short training session, employees were given specific examples of how people responded to shooters, showing what reactions were good and what reactions were not effective. Employees then practiced aggressive counter attacks. They were shown how to disable a shooter, distract them, evacuate a building and how to properly lock down a secure room.

Alice 1
Parks and Recreation Department employees Heather Davis, Tony Weatherby and Penny Williams demonstrate techniques that can be used to take down an active killer.

Instructors often enforced the message that no one should be allowed to take your life from you, and that preparedness and being observant are important in all situations.

Potential armed intruders are referred to as “active killers” instead of “active shooters” because “killer is an accurate description of what these people are,” according to a Police Department ALICE training handout. Active killers arrive at a targeted place with the intent of killing others, making a statement, causing mass casualties, and exerting power and control over others.

ALICE is a huge step in preparing individuals should an active killer enter the workplace. It is a workshop that is becoming more and more popular with businesses, hospitals, places of worship and schools that shares a message that is common sense, but not always common knowledge.

The original ALICE program was started nationally by SWAT officers in the 1990s as a response to in-school violence. Several area schools, businesses and organizations have recently completed the training course offered in Cape Girardeau.

For more information on ALICE training, visit the official website at or contact Officer Couch at 573-335-6621 about organizing a workshop.

Public Information Specialist Jessica Sexton also contributed to this article.

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