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Columbia Police Department to offer active intruder training Saturday

More than 130 people have registered for two active intruder response training courses being taught by Columbia police officers Saturday.

Sgt. Mike Hestir, one of the officers teaching the course, said there’s been a growing interest from the public in active intruder or mass casualty training.

“I think when the guy ran over the bicyclists in New York and then you couple that with the tragedy in Las Vegas, more and more people want to know what to do when these things happen,” he said. “It’s an unfortunate new part of our country and the world, really.”

Hestir said the course will teach participants what to do in a variety of active threat situations, including incidents involving cars.

“These things have blossomed more,” he said. “It’s not just active shooters.”

Hestir said participants will go through some scenario work during the training. The “Run, Hide, Fight” mentality is what officers will be teaching.

“The real thing we want citizens to take away is you have to act to protect yourself,” he said. “The police will be there, but not immediately.”

Due to the overwhelming response of participants, Hestir said the department is working to plan more training courses throughout the year.

The free 2 1/2-hour sessions will take place at the department’s regional training center in southeast Columbia.

Click here for an ABC 17 News Special Report on active shooter trainings.

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