The Department of Public Works Security Services Division partnered with the Newport News Police Department to receive active shooter response training. Master Police Detective (MPD) Overton provided the nationally known CRASE training – Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events – to the Division. CRASE focuses on teaching people how to think and act under the stress of a critical incident. The Officers learned how the human body reacts to stress, including the impacts to their ability to make logical decisions and in some cases, move at all. They also learned how to control stress through a technique called combat breathing to allow them to retain some degree of control and cognitive brain function, all vital to making correct decisions in life or death situations.
MPD Overton presented several well-known mass shooting incidents as case studies for lessons learned, allowing the Security Officers to put themselves in the situations and develop a plan for how they should respond in a similar event. This planning is perhaps the most important part of CRASE training, or any active shooter preparedness course, as it allows people to develop a plan in a calm, safe environment, where brain function is not impacted under stress. The practice, of constantly analyzing and evaluating your environment, allows the brain to have a ready to access response plan, even under stress.