ALERRT releases Avoid Deny Defend video for civilian response to active shooter events

By Diana Hendricks
University News Service
March 18, 2015

The Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University (Texas State) has released an informative and potentially lifesaving civilian response to active shooter event video, which is available to the public on the website as well as on YouTube.

Walmart partnered with ALERRT at Texas State to develop this video in an unprecedented effort to support 1.5 million Walmart U.S. associates as part of an Active Shooter Awareness Campaign.

This video was designed as a companion to the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) Train the Trainer program that ALERRT is delivering to police officers across the nation, which then empowers the officers to increase community awareness of the most effective ways for civilians to respond in an active shooter situation.

The ALERRT Center at Texas State has trained more than 60,000 law enforcement officers across the nation in active shooter response since 2002, and has been named the national standard by the FBI.

For more than a decade, as active shooter events have been on the rise, the primary focus has been teaching law enforcement how to respond quickly and stop threats.  Fire and EMS have been brought into the discussion to respond more quickly to save lives.  The gap that still exists is training citizens who are on scene and inside the problem first.

ALERRT research has shown that roughly half of these events are over prior to law enforcement’s arrival.  Average law enforcement response time to these events has been three minutes.  In the law enforcement world, this is remarkably fast.  This research speaks to the importance of civilians having the knowledge and preparation to respond to a life-or-death situation.

ALERRT is training law enforcement officers across the nation to deliver this civilian response plan in their communities.  This awareness campaign is straightforward, easy to comprehend, and simple for people to share with family members, civic groups, church groups and others.

Avoid Deny Defend ™ is a civilian response plan containing three options:

  • A – Avoid.  This is the preferred option and begins with situational awareness of one’s environment prior to any active, hostile act occurring. It also includes having a plan ahead of time regarding what you would do in the event of an active shooter and knowing escape routes. Avoid Danger.
  • D – Deny.  If avoidance isn’t possible, find ways to prevent the attacker from having access to you and others around you.  (Close/lock doors, barricade doorways with furniture, etc.). Deny Access.
  • D – Defend.  Take action!  As a last resort you have a right to defend yourself if you believe your life is in imminent danger.   Defend Yourself.

What you do matters!

Walmart has a history of taking a leadership role among retailers in vital safety measures. The most familiar would be the Code Adam missing child safety program, created by Walmart retail stores in 1994. It is named in memory of Adam Walsh, the 6-year old who was abducted from a Sears department store and later found murdered. Today, many retail stores, department stores, supermarkets, parks, hospitals and museums participate in the Code Adam program, and all federal buildings are mandated by law to employ the Code Adam program.

For interviews with subject matter experts, or more information regarding the Avoid Deny Defend™ Program and ALERRT at Texas State, please contact Diana Hendricks, Director of Communications, at (512) 245-4779 or (512) 618-3373; or email For Walmart media inquiries: or (800) 331-0085.