We’re all concerned about violent intrusions at schools, businesses and public places around the country. There have been 23 school shootings in 2018 alone, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 were killed. Shootings are a regularly occurring part of the American fabric. Too often. Too common. Always tragic.

So, how do you stop it. As a parent who has interacted with the local schools, if my intent was to enter a school and shoot people, it would not be difficult. Front-door security is surprisingly lax, although there are police officers on the campuses. They can’t be everywhere at once.

If you’re interested in being trained to be more prepared for a violent intruder, the Maumelle Police Department is bringing in a group that will offer training. They call it “ALICE,” which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.

“The concept is to give you a set of proactive, options-based strategies, that increase your chances of survival during a violent intruder or active shooter event,” according to a news release from the for-profit group offering the training.

“This two-day instructor training course is designed to teach law enforcement as well as school, church, hospital and workplace administrators and employees skills and strategies that bridge the gap between the time a violent event begins, and law enforcement arrives,” according to the release. According to Maumelle Police Chief Sam Williams, this program is designed to “train the trainers.”

The training will take place July 17 and 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Maumelle High School. The cost to participate is $595. Like I said, this is a for-profit organization. Completion of the training program allows you to become an “ALICE Certified Instructor” (ACI). If you’re interested, you can learn more and register at www.alicetraining.com. You can also get more information at the Maumelle Police Department website, www.maumellepd.org.

Also, according to Chief Williams, several Maumelle PD officers and Pulaski County Special School District security personnel will be able to receive the training since they are hosting the event.

Ball takes firm stand against arming teachers

Monica Ball, the District 39 Democratic candidate for state representative took a strong stand against arming teachers in the classroom. Her Facebook page has this statement: “The so-called Arkansas School Safety Commission decided earlier this week that they will recommend to Gov. Hutchinson allowing some teachers and support staff to carry firearms in our schools. The safety of our students is vitally important, but arming teachers and other staff is not the answer! As District 39’s representative, I absolutely will not support guns on any school campus, except in the hands of highly trained law enforcement officers. As a retired teacher with 28 years of classroom experience, I know that the teaching profession is difficult enough without burdening educators with the responsibility of being armed guards. I will never support putting our children’s education and safety at risk by introducing firearms into the learning environment!”

I’ll have more coverage on this race leading up to the election in November. Ball is facing incumbent Republican Mark Lowery for the seat.

Bella Rustina returns July 13

The Bella Rustina Modern Vintage Market returns to the former Walmart Neighborhood Market in Maumelle with almost 200 booths July 13 through 15, with antiques, vintage, upcycled/repurposed antiques and vintage, as well as vintage-inspired handmade items. The hours are Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $8 per adult and $1 per child 12 and under on Friday and $5 per adult and $1 per child Saturday and Sunday. Admission is good all weekend.

Bits and Bites

It’s tomato time! Arkansas tomatoes, arguably the best in the world, have started to appear at local produce stands. Rick’s Produce Stand on the Boulevard — and I would guess others — have a good supply of Bradley County beauties and my all-time favorite, Cherokee Purples. Rush out and get you some before they are gone. All you need is a jar of Duke’s mayonnaise, a mess of peas, a Vidalia onion and some cornbread. It don’t get no better.

Had a note from a reader touting the new Sunday brunch at Gigi’s Soul Lounge and Café. The menu is extensive and features breakfast favorites plus fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, custom omelets, pasta dishes and fried cabbage. Of course, they’ll fix you a Bloody Mary or Mimosa. Service is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and costs $19.95 for adults and $13.95 for children 12 and under.

See you on the Boulevard.

Neal Moore is a public relations and advertising consultant and freelance writer. If you have a community concern, Maumelle news tip or if you’re just irritated about something, contact him at neal.moore@sbcglobal.net. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.