POLICE Magazine Supplements

Special Report 2018

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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10 SPECIAL REPORT: KEEPING SCHOOLS SAFE In April 1999 Americans watched in horror as students smashed windows and jumped out of their Littleton, CO, high school in panicked efforts to escape two of their murderous classmates. As the nightmare wore on, reports of doz- ens of dead and injured students and faculty were beamed into our living rooms through the media. ose reports painted a startling picture of evil, as we learned the massacre was rehearsed, premeditated, and tactically planned to ensure the highest possible body count. e law enforcement community was now faced with a troubling new evolu- tion of students murdering students and puzzled as to how to most effectively en- gage the active killer. PHOTOS: DENNIS PLEUSS/JEFFCO PUBLIC SCHOOLS Professional tactical police trainers across the country quickly came to a consensus that the traditional response model of surround, contain, and call out SWAT or other tactical units, was a useless one as these killings are over and done in a matter of minutes, well before an average SWAT response time. So the Rapid Deployment response was created, modified, and cemented as the national best practice for law enforce- ment when dealing with active shooter incidents. e initial Rapid Deployment mindset focused on a four-officer contact team, each with delineated responsibilities and disciplines, working as a singular unit when entering a hostile environ- ment. However in recent years, law en- forcement agencies have seen bloody rampage killings with high casualties resulting within minutes of the first shot. So the response model has become even more aggressive and proactive. Proactive agencies and officers now focus on a so- lo-officer response to such a grave threat, with the realization that the sooner an officer inserts into such an incident, the sooner the dynamics shift for the mur- derer and the potential victims. is dire challenge for law enforce- ment officers represents a sober reality YOU HAVE If you're not willing to risk your life to protect children being murdered by an active killer, then you are in the wrong profession. KORY FLOWERS

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