Jackson County Sheriff’s Office wants residents to learn ‘A.D.D.’ and how to respond to active shooter situations

JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. -- Active shooter cases are unfortunately becoming more common. Data released by the FBI shows they are trending upward each year. Authorities and public responders are training on how to handle these events.

"Years ago we started teaching our law enforcement officers throughout the state and the country how to handle these kind of events," said Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office. What about citizens?

"C.R.A.S. is 'citizens response to an active shooter.' It's an acronym for that," said Chief Deputy Harnen.  "A few years ago we went to an instructor school to go out and talk to the community about what they can do in the case of an active shooter."

C.R.A.S encourages those facing an active shooter scenario to practice A.D.D., much like run hide fight. A.D.D. stands for avoid, deny and defend. First is avoid. "Try to get away from the situation. If you hear something going on in a business, if you have an exit; get outside and when you're safe make a call to 911."

NEXT IS DENY. "Basically denying them access to where you're at. If you can barricade the room you're in, lock the door, turn the lights out, make it look like you're not there," says Harnen.

Last but not least, defend if you need to. "If you are in imminent danger of somebody shooting you and you have to defend yourself, defend yourself to the death because it could mean your life."

When authorities do arrive at the scene, make sure you always follow all instructions. "We don't know who the shooter is and who the shooter is not," Harnen said. "So if we tell you to get your hands up, don't be upset. We want you to put your hands up because you are a potential threat to others, we don't know who the threat is."

Chief Deputy Harnen said tactics like run, hide, fight and A.D.D. need to become second nature like stop, drop, and roll.

"Everyone needs to be prepared for it. We obviously hope it never happens, but when it does you got to be prepared. "