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Inside KHP's Active Shooter Training Program

@TrooperBenKHP Twitter

President Obama's plan to reduce gun violence includes providing active shooter training for law enforcement authorities, first responders and school officials.

This type of training is already happening in Kansas through several agencies, including the Kansas Highway Patrol.

The Highway Patrol launched the Kansas Active Shooter Mitigation (KASM) program in 2013.

KMUW's Deborah Shaar talked with Trooper Ben Gardner via Skype about the training initiative.

Tell me how the Kansas Active Shooter Mitigation Program began.

Back in the beginning of 2013, Governor Brownback approached the Kansas Highway Patrol to address the topic of active shooters across Kansas, and in particular, what was happening across our nation, and asked us, and our agency, what we were doing to provide training, education, and awareness to Kansans and our own state. At that point, we started developing this KASM program that we use today.

Tell me about what happens during the training sessions.

What we do is we start in an open, large venue and we have talking points about where we come from in years past in active shooting situations across our nation...(and talk about) how we can do better in empowering (trainees) to make a difference if that event would ever come to them at their workplace.

Can you talk about plans to expand the program to allow others to teach it in local communities?

It started with talking to administrators, superintendents and principals at school workplaces and then went down to talking to staff members at schools. Then it evolved and was retooled to be able talk to businesses and schools. The next step, which we started at the very end of 2015, is to go start talking to other law enforcement officers across Kansas and to be able to give them the tools of KASM so that they can go talk to (and empower) their community members.

You can listen to the full interview by clicking the audio player above.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.


Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.