HILTONS, Va. (WJHL) — Scott County deputy and school resource officer (SRO) Matt Quillen teaches active shooter courses to county schools through the nationally recognized A.L.E.R.R.T. certification.

Quillen’s two-hour courses are free and help provide a plan for surviving an active shooter threat.

“I’m not going to say it’s an epidemic, but it’s the fact of life that we live in these days,” said Quillen. “So giving people a plan is just the right thing to do.”

Deputy Matt Quillen offering active shooter courses to Scott County Public Schools. (Photo: WJHL).

One of the lessons Quillen teaches is ADD: avoid, deny, defend. He said in surviving any threat situation, it’s important to know your surroundings.

Quillen is the SRO at Hilton Elementary School. He has already provided the course to the school’s teachers and staff. Six schools out of the 14 schools in the Scott County Public School district have already completed the course.

“Well, knowledge is power so any training we can get on this situation, school safety, gives us power to help protect our students,” said Hilton Elementary assistant principal Sarah Medukas.

“We’re so proud that Matt has received this training and brought it back to us,” said Hilton Elementary Title I teacher Julie Helms. “And it gives us tremendous security.”

Quillen has the remaining eight schools in the district scheduled for training. He said he would also like to offer the class to parents to keep them informed as to what an active threat response looks like at school.

You can sign up for a class by calling the Scott County Sheriff’s Office at 276-386-7679.