As we all know, there are tens of thousands of situations, and combinations of those situations, that confront us in our day to day operations as police departments. We can go hours without a call for service or we can get slammed with calls waiting queued for hours. We can have a shift stacked with competent, pro-active officers, or we can run with the minimums of officer quality and staffing. I personally am not willing to go "all in" on the idea or argument that I can get 5 officers to a grammar school or a shopping mall instantly at any random time. There are just far too many variables that we face in our day to day operations as police departments to bank on that.
I conceived the idea of the Active Shooter Action Plan (hereinafter ASAP) after researching national policy and merging existing philosophies in my lecture circuit discussions. I was concerned about the smaller departments with 1, 2, or 3 officers on patrol, or agencies with such large patrol posts, or such busy patrol posts, that response times are out of the question for successfully mitigating the loss of life at an on-going active killer incident. ASAP predicates itself on the following equation of Available Manpower + Time/Physics = Appropriate Tactic. The basic premise of the tactic is to get an officer to the shooter as soon as possible to stop the active killing.
The ASAP method training course is built on the foundation of instructing on the merits of the intelligent and aggressive tactical mindset, and then intensive training on the skills and tactics necessary to defeat an active killer within the time parameters that they always dictate.
The active killer incident at the Pine View Nursing Home in Carthage, N.C. showed us as a law enforcement community that a single officer assault on an active killer can be successful. The ASAP Method predicates that same concept of an initial response of solo or paired up officers assaulting directly at the active killer and neutralizing the murderous acts. ASAP does not preach suicide-style tactics but rather close quarter combat skills and tactics for the single and paired up officer. We must realize that to mitigate the loss of life during an active killer incident, there must be an absolute exigency to our tactics and our response. Once the officer is in the building and moving towards the shooter there can be no deviation or momentary halt for support or rendering if aid. The officer must, in military speak, "close with and destroy" the active killer threat.
It is common knowledge that active killers, especially in the school attack scenarios, are very prone to avoidance of a law enforcement response and almost always commit suicide (most commonly by self-inflicted gun shot wounds) just prior to being engaged by a police reaction. Officers using ASAP will no longer need to hold at a certain ad-hoc meeting spot or objective. ASAP officers will still use many of the same tactics taught to officers using 4 man contact team concepts such as moving past victims, and explosives. They however, will not be tethered to a team or group of officers who they have waited for to join them in the fight. ASAP officers stayed focused solely on the fact that an active killer is murdering unarmed, non-combatants at a rate that is as fast as the shooter can employ. Single officers responding directly to the threat without pause is the fastest way to disconnect that active killer from his task of murder in quantity.
The ASAP method works by sending trained officers directly at the active killer to interfere on his assault and end it or curtail any further unanswered gunfire on innocents. 3 or 4 man contacts team tactics, or some other method of aggressive assault can be launched in conjunction with ASAP entries as manning and equipment arrive.
ASAP works to get into that 180 to 480 second window of shooting and mayhem in a fashion faster and more aggressive than any other response method to date.
So how does a police department know if it needs to employ a tactic such as ASAP? If a police department can put its collective ego and perceived competence to the side and truly look at its geography, manning, and response tactics and know with complete certainty that it can deploy with the amount of officers needed to satisfy the tactic or tactics employed, travel to the killer, and then successfully engage the shooter stopping the rampage in under 3 to 5 minutes then you are OK. If the answer is no then what would be the harm of an initial attack on the active killer by ASAP trained officers who are immediately on scene and immediately advancing on and engaging the shooter in so doing throwing his OODA into chaos and in doing so stopping mass homicide?