Madison County deputies: Universal response is essential in emergency situations

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - While officials deemed the emergency situation at the Redstone Arsenal a false alarm, they do say the installation is prepared in the event there is a real active shooter.

They credit that to those who live and work on the Arsenal, and the agencies outside of it.

Madison County Sheriff's Office responded to Tuesday's situation. Chief Deputy David Jernigan told WHNT about a dozen 4 - 5 man teams participated in a search of the area where an active shooter was reported.

He also said that all law enforcement in the state of Alabama is trained to handle an active shooter situation.

"They get it at the academy level, or they'll get it in in service. It's very important, because it standardizes the training," said Jernigan.

He says the Alabama Peace Officer and Standards has designed an advanced law enforcement's rapid response training for officers in the state.

"Essentially, the first one or two officers that arrive at the scene at a potential active shooter are basically identified as a team, and go into together to stop the threat," said Jernigan.

Jernigan calls protocol significantly different since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999. "Basic protocol at that time would be to secure the perimeter, call for a SWAT team, wait for specialized weapons and tactics to come in, and neutralize that threat," he said.

In the state of Alabama an officer could be called to an active shooter situation out of his or her jurisdiction, but the same policies apply county by county.

Jernigan believes that makes law enforcement in Alabama more effective and efficient.

​"I really applaud the state of Alabama for taking the lead in getting everybody trained in this, because it can happen anywhere," he said.