Article written by Glenn Norling
Active Shooter Preparedness Expert
As a member of the Active Shooter Prevention Project (ASPP) and a proponent of the Prevention, Response, Options, (P.R.O.) Model, I firmly believe that the key to preventing active shooter situations is to focus on prevention.
Recently, the Secret Service Report on Mass Attacks in Public Spaces released in 2019 has highlighted the critical role that prevention plays in addressing active shooter situations. The report analyzed 34 incidents that took place in the U.S. in 2017 and found that in 80% of cases, at least one person knew about the shooter’s plans before the attack.
The report emphasizes the importance of identifying and addressing potential threats before they escalate, which is where prevention comes in. Early intervention is key to preventing these incidents from occurring in the first place. By recognizing the signs and behaviors that could indicate a potential threat and reporting them to the appropriate authorities, we can take proactive measures to address potential threats and prevent incidents from happening.
While traditional active shooter training often focuses on how to respond to an incident, it is crucial to recognize that prevention is just as important, if not more so. By focusing on prevention, we can take proactive measures to address potential threats and prevent incidents from occurring in the first place.
To do this, it is essential to connect the dots by sharing information and working collaboratively to identify potential threats. A multi-faceted approach is required, including early intervention, situational awareness, and training on how to recognize and report potential threats.
Statistics show that prevention is effective, and we must move beyond the mantra of ‘Run, Hide, Fight,’ to a more detailed and actionable plan. The mantra of ‘Run, Hide, Fight,’ has been the foundation of active shooter training for years. While it provides a simple and easy-to-remember plan of action, it lacks the necessary detail to be effective in a real-life situation.
To be truly prepared for an active shooter situation, we must move beyond this mantra and develop a more detailed and actionable plan. This includes identifying two to three places to run to.
When identifying these locations, it’s important to consider a variety of factors such as proximity, accessibility, and potential exit routes. This requires prior knowledge of the location and regular assessments of the environment. By doing this, we can minimize the time it takes to locate a safe place and increase the chances of survival.
Furthermore, it’s essential to know the difference between cover and concealment. Cover refers to an object or structure that can provide protection from gunfire, while concealment refers to an area that can hide someone but does not necessarily provide protection. Knowing the difference between the two and identifying areas that offer both cover and concealment can increase the chances of survival.
In the P.R.O. Model, concealment means identifying locations to run to an area that is protected by a ballistic barrier. A ballistic barrier can provide additional protection from gunfire and increase the chances of survival. One example of a ballistic barrier is the WINGSHIELD Portable Ballistic Shield. The WINGSHIELD is a lightweight, portable shield that can be quickly deployed in the event of an active shooter situation. It can provide cover and protection for an entire room full of people, and its unique design allows for easy transport and storage.
By contrasting and improving upon our current methods, we can act in new ways that save lives and prevent tragedy. This starts with empowering everyone to take an active role in their own safety and security, recognizing the importance of situational awareness, and putting a plan in place in advance.
If we teach individuals how to think tactically, we can make a significant impact on how they emotionally manage an incident. This is why we must continue to emphasize the value of prevention and situational awareness and put in place the necessary measures to ensure that everyone can make good decisions in the event of an active shooter situation.
Active shooter situations are complex and require a multi-layered approach to be successful. Prevention, Response, and Options are all necessary components of an effective strategy. By working together, we can create a safer and more secure environment for everyone.
At the Active Shooter Prevention Project, our goal is to prevent these incidents from occurring in the first place, and to respond effectively if they do. With the right approach, we can create a safer and more secure environment for all.
About Glenn Norling
Glenn Norling is a retired FBI Special Agent and the owner and principal consultant of TBR Consulting LLC, which specializes in providing emergency planning, crisis management, and active shooter preparation consultation services and training. With a background in both the military and law enforcement, Glenn is a highly experienced and accomplished professional in the field of emergency management and active shooter preparation. He has trained over 15,000 people in active shooter awareness and preparation since 2014 and is a certified FBI crisis manager and an FBI instructor and adjunct faculty.
Prior to his career with the FBI, Glenn served in the United States Air Force as an acquisition program manager. Glenn holds a BA in physics from Ohio University and a MA in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the National Tactical Officers Association, the National Association of School Resource Officers, and the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals. Glenn is also a lifetime member of the FBI Agents Association.