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Single Officer Response to Active Threats

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Presentation on theme: "Single Officer Response to Active Threats"— Presentation transcript:

1 Single Officer Response to Active Threats
What to do when YOU are the First on Scene

2 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.” Instructor Notes: As officer’s who respond to calls on a daily basis, we should always be thinking worst case scenario for every call. It is much easier to prepare for the worst and then back your response down if need be, then to try and ramp up your response individually once you arrive on scene.

3 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. Instructor Notes: This is the FBI definition from their study. A good question to ask the class at this point is “In this day and age, what is our thought process when we hear that there is an armed individual in a school, mall, hospital, etc.” Are they thinking it’s a robbery, Active Threat, or hostage situation? We should be thinking worst case scenario and respond with that thought in mind.

4 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. Officer Notes: Reference- Ohio Revised code Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985). Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989).

5 Active Threat Response 1966-1999
- Patrol Officers respond by Locating the Shooter Containing the Suspect Evacuating the Area Notifying SWAT Instructor Notes: 1966 is usually the baseline given for Law Enforcement Response to Active Threats. This was in reaction to the University of Texas shooting spree by Charles Whitman.

6 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 Instructor Notes: Photograph credit- Still from NBC News. In 1999, The Columbine High School shooting ushered in a new thought process for Law Enforcement in regards to tactical response. The realization that setting up a perimeter, securing the area around the shooting while it was ongoing, and waiting for SWAT, was an ineffectual response. Response was now directed towards road officers being trained to respond in small groups. The expectation was these officers would immediately enter the area, find and confront the threat. Other arriving officers would then set up perimeters, assist with evacuation, or enter the area to assist in neutralization of the threat.

7 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. Instructor Notes: The Virginia Tech incident, along with the 2009 FBI Active Shooter Manual of Guidance, brought about further change in Law Enforcement Tactics. The FBI study, along with the NYPD study in 2011, showed that Law Enforcement Response was having minimal impact on Active Threat incidents. This was due to delays in waiting for additional officers and the fact that several Law Enforcement Agencies may not even be able to muster required numbers of officers to carry out a team tactical response in the initial moments of the shooting. In instances where officers did impact the Active Threat, and that includes the Active Threat merely knowing Officer’s were on scene, the killing of innocents ceased.

8 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. Instructor Notes: Be careful not to get into a debate about weapon selection. Training is the biggest obstacle to response. The tactics going from a team concept to Single Officer are basically the same. Officer’s just don’t know it and have not been exposed to it. We don’t set what particular departments provide their officer’s in the way of weapons. We can make a suggestion based on our experience and knowledge, but don’t set up a debate or argument.

9 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. Instructor Notes: Our priorities, tactics and desired outcome all remain the same. The only change is that you can make entry and engage without waiting for additional officers.

10 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. Instructor Notes: Remember to stress the response priorities and where we fall in them (3rd). Innocent lives are being lost. Mindset, speed and good tactics leading to engagement of the Active Threat is the best outcome for everyone involved!

11 If not you, then who? Sandy Hook, Ct. December 14, 2012
20 children & 5 adults killed

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