Last month, the Fall River Justice Center (FRJC) was the site for the Trial Court’s first active shooter drill. Court Officers were put to the test on their response in implementing ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) protocols in the event of an active shooter entering a courthouse.

The inter-agency collaborative exercise included approximately 20 police officers from the Fall River Police Department, 15 EMS members from the region, 10 firefighters, 20 Court Officers from the FRJC, and 60 role players, including Probation Officers, Security, and Command staff. Court Administrator Harry Spence, Security Director Jeffrey Morrow and Human Resources Director Mark Conlon observed the Saturday drill, which lasted for five hours.

The group ran through three different worst-case scenarios, which included sounding of systems alarms and firing rounds of blank ammunition to simulate the noise and activity of a mass shooting event.

“This exercise is our chance to test what works about our ALICE protocol and refine what doesn’t, so we can respond quickly and appropriately in the event of an emergency,” said Security Director Jeffrey Morrow, who emphasizes that the goal of ALICE training is not to alarm or scare people, but to encourage court employees to think about how they would respond in an emergency. “These drills also provide an opportunity for our Court Officers to use their first responder skills. We need to learn from past events around the country to best prepare for the future.”


ALICE update

As of February 2016…

  • All Security Department staff have been trained in ALICE response
  • At least one session of ALICE training has been conducted at all courthouses across Massachusetts
  • The Security Department will offer ALICE training again in each region to address any questions related to specific locations; please contact the Chief Court Officer in your courthouse for more information

Want more info? ALICE Training – Active Shooter: How to Respond 

From left, Lynn District Court Officers Timothy Byrne and Walter ("Joe") Piknick show off their realistic "wounds" with Worcester Superior Court Probation Officers Laura Tagliaferri and Megan Fettes. Fall River Court Officer Nelson Paiva and Dartmouth EMS Technician Cheryl Keniston were at the courthouse well before the 8:00 a.m. drill started in order to create the realistic make-up effects for selected "wounded" role players.
Fall River PD
Running in: Fall River Police Officers head into the Fall River Justice Center.
bad guy on the ground
Got him: Court Officer Richard Curt with members of the Fall River Police Department during the second active shooter drill at the Fall River Justice Center.