After reading an article on Nazareth Patch that detailed an "Active Shooter" training at Nazareth Area Intermediate School, Becky Butz said she "couldn't believe" the Nazareth Borough Police Department didn't participate.
"Why didn’t we have any representation from our department?" the borough resident asked Thursday night at Nazareth Borough Council's workshop.
Dan Chiavaroli, president of council, said he wondered the same thing.
"I didn't have a chance to ask yet," Chiavaroli added amid murmurs of agreement from around council chambers.
The answer would have to wait while Police Chief Thomas Trachta tended to a closed hearing downstairs.
After the workshop, however, Trachta explained to Patch that all of Nazareth's full-time and day-tour officers -- the chief included -- participated in the training in 2011.
As of Aug. 2, according to Paul Kokolus, the borough's secretary and treasurer, the police department has used $1,341.10 of its $2,500 training budget. With five months left until the end of the year, Trachta said he will continue to plan training sessions carefully.
He added that he took part in numerous training sessions over the course of 21 years with the New York Police Department.
About 20 police officers from six Northampton County departments participated in the specialized training that Don Alwes, an instructor with NTOA, described as “kind of like a scrimmage.”
The 10-hour day included a historical overview of active shooter situations and field training exercises, during which the officers fired their pellet-filled weapons and were fired upon.
While the course heavily focused on situations that involve guns, the officers were trained to handle any situation that poses a threat to a mass of people.
Upper Nazareth has co-hosted the training for three years, according to Mark Herman, who has been with the department for six years.
The timing of the "Active Shooter" training -- six days after 24-year-old James Holmes allegedly opened fire inside a Colorado movie theater -- was a coincidence.
Butz said, for her, the beginning of Nazareth Patch's original article rang true:
There is a stretch of about 1,800 miles between the Lehigh Valley and Aurora, Colo.
Though it’s the third most populous city in Colorado, some area residents may never have known Aurora existed before July 20, the day it was thrust into national headlines following a shooting that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.
Tragedy can travel 1,800 miles in a snap.
But could such a tragedy happen here, in the Lehigh Valley?