The 79th Judicial District Attorneys Office hosted a free public civilian training funded by the 2020 Border Prosecution Unit on Tuesday.

The Border Prosecution Unit (BPU) on social media dangers and civilian shooter response training. The BPU is an initiative involving the Texas Department of Public Safety and 17 district and county attorney offices within the border jurisdictions of Texas.

Sgt. Nathan Brandley with the Texas Department of Public Safety, presented the training at the Abundant Life Christian Center in Alice.

Sgt. Brandley discussed the dangers of social media and how it has changed the culture of today's youth. Today, younger generations have an added pressure to always look perfect for the constant online pictures and videos.The training highlighted on social media bullying and its link to increased suicide numbers in young people. He also spoke on young people being more prone to victims of sex crimes pertaining to pedophilia and human trafficking and being solicited by predators online. He warned parents on the physiological changes that occurs in the brain from looking at phone screens for long periods of time and how the social media industry is built to be addictive. The new technology and online culture has changed the social capabilities and social maturity in young people today with interactions face to face becoming difficult.

The training was followed by a civil response to an active shooter class that teaches an Avoid, Deny, Defend (ADD) response when being faced in an active shooter situation.

Avoid: Pay attention to your surroundings, have an exit plan, move away from the source of threat and keep your distance from the threat.

Deny: Create barriers to prevent or slow down a threat, turn lights off and remain silent and silence your phone.

Defend: If you cannot avoid or deny be prepared to defend yourself. Be aggressive and defend your actions. Do not fight fairly if in a survival situation where you could lose your life.