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Virginia Beach Police offer free 'Active Threat Citizens Defense' workshop

Officers want to empower the community. So, this Saturday they're offering free training so you know what to do in case of an active shooter.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Having to face an armed individual with bad intentions is every person’s worst nightmare.

So on Saturday morning, the Virginia Beach Police Department is holding a free active shooter training exercise.

The “Active Threat Citizen Defense’’ workshop is from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. inside the Coastal Community Church on Independence Boulevard.

Master Police Officer David Nieves said he’s taught this class for seven years now.

“My co-workers, they refer to it as 'the David show,'” he said jokingly. “Yes, there is a T-Rex in my show.”

It’s a show full of crowd interaction and laughs, but it’s a topic that Nieves takes seriously.

“It’s not a funny subject. We have to really take it to heart and understand that we can learn and have fun at the same time,” said Nieves.

During the workshop, officers will show you how to recognize dangerous situations and you’ll learn how your body responds. Also, people who choose to participate will practice "no-skills needed" maneuvers to fight off a gunman.

Nieves said he wants his community to feel empowered by this class. “I love this city, I love this community. I’m part of it.”

With hundreds of these presentations under his belt, Nieves wants to make potential active shooters think twice.

“Hopefully shooters realize maybe Virginia Beach is not the place because the citizens will be ready for them.”

There are still 300 spots open for people wanting to attend, and it is first come, first serve.

Children who can understand and handle the subject matter can participate in the training.

Please note that no weapons are allowed, and all bags brought to the training are subject to inspection, at the door.

There will be a 30-minute break during the training.

You can pack your lunch, although food trucks may be available.