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Jefferson County Sheriff's Office trains public on how to defend against active shooter

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Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Facebook Page

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is hosting public classes known as C.R.A.SE. or Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, which teach how to survive an active shooter situation. The curriculum, adopted from Texas State University, is a mix of training videos and case studies of prior active shooter incidents.

Dpt. Sheriff Carrie Mangino said there has been a reignited interest in the classes among the community following last week’s high school shooting in Florida.

“It’s not meant to scare anyone and not meant to make anyone an officer themselves, but it will give people the tools to make quick life or death decisions if put in an emergency,” Mangino said.

Mangino said they teach how to avoid, deny and defend against a gunman.

“Can I get out?" Mangino said. "Am I on the first floor? Can I just climb out the window? Can I go out the back exit door?”

She said ‘deny’ is similar to a school lockdown.

“That means we’re locking doors, we’re hiding, we’re trying to barricade doors,” Mangino said.

And ‘defend’ is how to disarm a shooter.

Mangino said there are pros and cons to more people arming themselves with guns. She said the average gun owner is not as trained, mentally and physically, as law enforcement. Also, if you do have to defend yourself with a gun, she said make sure the gun is not in your hands when police arrive.

“We’re going through the same stress as anybody else and we’re just looking for a person with a gun and you don’t want to be that person with a gun if you’re not the bad guy,” Mangino said.

The sheriff’s office will host a training class at LaFargeville Central School next month.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.