Single Officer Response to Active Threats What to do when YOU are the First on Scene
We need to change our MINDSET! The saying that when this happens “It’s a bad day to be a cop” should not be the lens we view our response through…. …. we should be saying “This is the day I took my oath, trained and prepared for my entire career.”
What is an Active Shooter? One or more subjects whom have used, are using or are threatening to use a weapon to inflict deadly force on others, and/or continue to do so while having unrestricted access to additional victims. Prior actions demonstrate intent to continuously harm; objective appears to be mass injury or murder.
When is using Deadly Force Justified for Law Enforcement? An officer acting within the scope of his employment is justified in the use of deadly force under the following circumstances: > to defend himself from what is reasonably believed to be an imminent threat of serious physical harm or death. > to defend another person from what is reasonably believed to be an imminent threat of serious physical harm or death.
Active Threat Response 1966-1999 -Patrol Officers respond by Locating the Shooter Containing the Suspect Evacuating the Area Notifying SWAT
Active Threat Response 1999-2008 -First Arriving Officer’s form a Contact Team. Diamond “T” Formation Stack -As other officers arrive Set up containment and Triage ICS begins
Active Threat Response 2008-Present Officers are empowered to engage the active threat upon arrival, without waiting for more officers. Research has shown the failure of four officer tactics due to delays in arrival. In almost every case, when the shooter is confronted, the killing of innocent persons stops.
FBI Active Shooter Manual of Guidance-2009 Stated that delayed Response (waiting for more officers) was flawed. First responders were outgunned and/or didn’t have the training to respond to an active shooter. Average event last 3-4 minutes. Average time per kill/injury is 15 seconds. Average Law Enforcement Response is 5 minutes.
Does this change anything? • The priority remains the same. Bypass wounded persons, suspicious items, and find the threat. • Remember, the suspect wants a body count. He is neither looking for you nor expecting you to respond quickly. • If you locate the suspect engage and close with him. • Tactics are basically the same - speed, surprise and aggressiveness all need to be there. • The faster we can neutralize the suspect the less time he / she will have to harm innocent persons. • As more officers arrive, teams will form up to either search, engage or secure the scene.
What would you want? An Active Threat is in a building with the person I love the most. I want Law Enforcement to: 1. Wait outside for more officers. or 2. Enter the building and find the threat as fast as possible. Our expectation is no different from that of the public.
If not you, then who? Sandy Hook, Ct. December 14, 2012 20 children & 5 adults killed