Active Shooter

Stalking an Active Shooter

By Jeffrey James Higgins

During the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida, four Broward County sheriff’s deputies, including a school resource officer, allegedly waited to enter Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while children were being murdered inside.  If Sheriff Scott Israel’s investigation confirms that those officers failed to take action, they should be fired for abrogating their most sacred duty.

Police officers need to confront suspects immediately during an active shooter situation in a school or other public place.  Ideally, there should be at least two officers present to clear even a single room.  The search of a school is best done by a tactical team, but an active shooter is an exception to the rule.  In exigent circumstances, when there is a serious risk of death or bodily injury to others, police need to respond immediately, even if that means searching with a less than optimal number of officers.

The FBI has developed protocols for how law enforcement should respond to active shooters, and over 114,000 officers have already received Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training.  This training is designed to give officers the basic tactical formations and other techniques needed to clear a school with a limited number of officers.  When a mass shooting occurs, it is likely that the officers who respond will come from different departments and will have different levels of training, as was the case in Parkland.  The training is designed to allow officers who never worked together to enter schools, locate the shooter, and eliminate the threat.

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