Rockdale Career Academy.jpg

Rockdale Career Academy

CONYERS — Personnel from the Conyers Police Department and Rockdale County Fire Rescue will provide active shooter response training for approximately 460 first responders in the coming months in a massive joint training effort.

CPD Sgts. Travis Smith and Bill Connell, along with Erin Connell, a relief driver for Rockdale County Rescue and Sgt. Connell’s daughter, had the opportunity to attend the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) “train the trainer” instructional course over the summer of 2019. The Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have deemed ALERRT to be the national standard in active shooter response training. Subsequently, ALERRT has also been adopted as the standard for the state of Georgia.

Conyers Police officers and 911 personnel, Rockdale County deputies, Rockdale Fire Rescue, National EMS and communications operators from Rockdale’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will all attend one of several upcoming 12-hour training sessions.

ALERRT training will consist of four hours of classroom instruction followed by eight full hours of practical exercises where first responders are faced with real-life scenarios. Grant funds by DOJ will supply simulation firearms, ammunition, radios, protective vests, and other equipment to provide the most realistic experience possible in a dynamic learning environment.

This training will take place at Rockdale Career Academy while students and faculty are on various breaks in the coming months. ALERRT instruction has taken place throughout the United States but doubtfully with the instructor pair like the training Conyers/Rockdale is about to provide. The Connells are a father-daughter duo who now have the opportunity to share their knowledge with their peers in Conyers and Rockdale County.

“This type of training will serve us well should we have an unfortunate incident in our community,” Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson said. “We look forward to all of Conyers and Rockdale’s first responder agencies to come together for this critical training opportunity.”

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Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.

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