Posted on Sep. 23, 2019 by Niki Nelson

This month, VirTra will debut its new V-VICTA® curriculum. The release is being announced at the 2019 ALERRT Conference in Colorado. This annual event focuses on the 20th anniversary of the Columbine massacre. ALERRT, or Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, provides information and training for first responders. VirTra will be participating in the conference as one of ALERRT’s platinum vendors.

The new curriculum is called ATAK, an acronym for Active Threat/Active Killer. The course goal is to prepare first responders for active threat situations. A critical element of ATAK training is distinguishing between what is an active threat and what isn’t. Upon completion of the course, students will understand the tactics used during an active threat and why they are different than the strategies used in a non-active situation.

Active Shooter Statistics

Data published in 2018 shows an increasing number of active shooter incidents in the United States, with a peak of 30 incidents in 2017 (Statista Research Department, 2019). According to FBI data released earlier this year, there were 27 active shooter situations in 2018, leading to 213 casualties (Active shooter incidents in the United States in 2018, 2019). Due to these trends, VirTra believes it is necessary to have specific training courses to prepare officers for active threat situations.

Similar to other VirTra scenarios and courses, ATAK content is based on real-life incidents. Looking at the 1999 Columbine High School massacre and the 2008 Mumbai attacks, students will be able to take away critical lessons and use them as preparation for future attacks.

Active Shooter Training Curriculum

This first volume of ATAK will have an estimated completion time of three hours and best suits a class of eight participants. It will consist of a lecture, simulation scenario event training, and pre- and post-tests. The recommended eight participants should be placed in pairs when scenarios take place for maximum effect. Instructors may pair it with other courses such as the “Tourniquet Application Under Threat” course for supplemental techniques and skills.

V-VICTA® Training Simulation (ATAK)

Like previous V-VICTA® curriculum, ATAK will come with a training manual that includes note taking materials and a scoring rubric for instructors. Students are evaluated based on their ability to perform the required skillsets. Instructors monitor performance within two immersive scenarios. VirTra recommends repeating the scenarios until students “pass” by taking the correct actions. Another helpful trick is letting them watch other pairs complete the scenario, which allows students to learn by example.

To stay up-to-date with the trend of active threat situations, it is crucial to prepare officers. These events are unexpected and daunting, requiring training in advance. Frequent and accurate preparation increases the goal of minimizing the damage done by the threat as much and as quickly as possible.

Stay safe, train hard.


  • Active shooter incidents in the United States in 2018. (2019, April 10). Retrieved from FBI:
  • Statista Research Department. (2019, May 8). Number of active shooter incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2018. Retrieved from Statista:

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