POLICE Magazine

SEP 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES 16 SPECIAL REPORT H ACTIVE SHOOTER RESPONSE Starting on the job in a large metro- politan city in the early spring of 1994, I never trained to respond to an active threat the way we do today. Barricaded gunman response, civil disturbance, and setting up a perimeter to wait for the SWAT team was what I knew. After the Columbine High School Massacre in 1999, we in law enforcement changed how we respond to active threat calls. e days of waiting outside and containing the incident were long gone and now the attitude was get in there and stop the threat. Times and tactics have changed since then and we are now in the era of single-officer response, rapid task force response, and advanced trauma care training for patrol. Unfortunately we have seen incidents where officers have either not gone in, or have been ordered to not go in to handle the threat and save lives. Nearly two decades after Columbine there shouldn't be any questions as to what we as law enforcement should do in this situation. We have to respond as safely as possible, grab what we have with us, and stop the killing. INTERIOR VS. EXTERIOR e tactics I recommend for response are the same ones I teach for the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) through the Advanced Active Shooter Response Instruc- tor course. We include classroom presentations, MACTAC (Multi-Assault Counter-Terrorism Action Capabilities), ex- terior response, interior response, and instructor development. Your active threat program should include response to ex- terior threats such as what we saw in Boston following the marathon bombing. What if your threat goes mobile, into the residential subdivisions of your jurisdiction? If that happens your interior tactics are out the window and now you need a new plan of action to resolve this issue. Exterior tactics such as bounding, staggered columns, wedges, peels, flanking, and di- rected fire should all be included in your active threat response program. Interior tactics have also changed. No longer can you just run into the building and try to process the information your eyes are observing. You have to decide what mode you're in upon your arrival to the incident. Are you in contact, search, or rescue mode? Is the suspect or threat eliminated? Or is the threat still in the process of committing violence? You must decide what mode you are in and formulate your plan once you make that decision. GOING IN If entry is what you decide to do, there are many ways to complete this task. Some are better than others, and you must seek out those tactics and implement them into your training program. Your OODA loop and just how fast your brain can process what you are actually seeing has to be factored into the tactics you are employing. e threshold assessment is superior for this very reason and can be implemented by any number of of- ficers that enter the facility. No matter if you're a single officer, or a member of a four-of- ficer element, the threshold assessment will give you the time you need to properly process what is in the room prior to enter- ing it, if needed. If you need to enter the room, it is only to clear potential threats that you cannot clear from the threshold. is allows you and your fellow officers to get through the task of room clearing much more ef- ficiently and effectively. Hallway movements have gone back and forth as well. If your agency is happy with some sort of cen- ter of the hall formation and it works with your room clearing tactics, then continue with it. I have found that the students I teach prefer a stack type of formation. It allows better cross-angle coverage, easier room clearing and entry, and it keeps the mass of human beings from the middle of the hallway. e formations are up to you, but work through them all to see what works best for the situation and the terrain you deal with. I have also become a huge fan of the limited penetration style that is taught by the Israelis. I have had the honor of know- ing and training with Nir Maman (www.CT707.com) as well as PATROL RESPONSE TO THE ACTIVE SHOOTER It's not enough for off icers to know they need to engage the threat; agencies need to give them the training to do so. CHRISTOPHOR PERIATT

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