The recent shooting in Texas that resulted in the deaths of 21 people and 17 injured highlights the importance of active shooter response training for law enforcement. Despite having recently trained for such an event, the police response was slow and confusing, with different agencies present on the scene and a lack of clear leadership.
I am baffled at the decision made by the school-system police chief to wait outside the classroom instead of confronting the shooter. The first responding officer, regardless of their experience or training, should always go in and stop the shooter, as it is part of the job.
The first priority of a responding officer is to confront the attacker, and if necessary, to act alone. This sentiment is reflected in the state-mandated training curriculum for school police officers, which advises them to “fill the gap” until other first responders arrive and to display “uncommon acts of courage” to save lives.
In light of the shooting, it is clear that there is a need for better coordination and clear leadership among responding agencies in an active shooter scenario. The Texas legislature has taken steps in the right direction by requiring active shooter training for all school police officers, but more can still be done to ensure that first responders are equipped to handle such situations effectively.
Chris Grollnek, Active Shooter Expert
Read more about this topic in the article by Steve Thompson, Robert Klemko, and Silvia Foster-Frau
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