Sheriff’s office trains Montgomery County employees for active shooters, threats

Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies demonstrate stances during an active threat response training.

NORRISTOWN >> Run, hide, fight. That’s the creed Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies have been drilling into county employees in case an active threat comes to the courthouse or county offices.

The deputies have been offering training to county departments on how to respond to an active shooter or other dangerous situation.

“With all that’s been going on in the news for the last couple months and years, we felt that as a new sheriff, it was important that we do refresher training for one, our own staff, all office staff and all courthouse personnel,” said Sheriff Sean Kilkenny.

The deputies and Montgomery County Detectives have worked together on tactical responses to any active threats that might face the county buildings in Norristown. Cpl. Harry Burke, training coordinator and ERT commander, said there are about 30 detectives and 100 deputies who have received the training so far.

While the courthouse and One Montgomery Plaza are protected by armed deputies, county employees are encouraged to know what to do in case of an active threat to protect themselves by running, hiding and when all else fails, fighting.

“It’s a matter of escaping, that’s the most important thing to try to get out. If it’s a situation where it’s not safe to get out, we’re teaching to hide, barricade yourself, go into a locked room,” Burke said. “And then the last resort is defend. If you think your life is in danger, don’t be a victim. Fight back.”

Training has been already completed for approximately 400 employees including the sheriff’s office’s law enforcement and civilian staff, the detectives bureau, court staff, the prothonotary’s office, veterans affairs, juvenile probation and the office of children and youth, according to a press release. More departments are scheduled for training in the coming months.

“We have an advantage because we are in a secure environment with trained law enforcement,” Burke said. “Active threat and shooter incidents are more likely to end very quickly, and with fewer fatalities, under those conditions.”

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