Recent mass homicides (I don’t use the word shooter, they are violent homicidal perpetrators) have once again questioned how we respond to a school or mass murder event. Every department will be overwhelmed with traveling experts; it will be déjà vu all over again! One thing we must do is vet out all of the tactical gurus, ‘swatologist’ and other specialist trying to make a dollar on your training budget. My recommendation is share with other departments, regional tasks force, consortiums or whatever you may have any information on the various systems of response. Work with your school district, for they often have their own policies and ideals that do not mesh well with your ideas of response, work closely with them for a common goal. One thing a chief/sheriff must do is make the response training you select conducive to your department and school situation. It is pointless to train for a response that is built around a large urban staff department if you only have a small department with limited regional resources, you must rethink and adapt. Old suggestion if weighing in on a trainer or company is to request a list of their most recent contracts and call those past customers, get their feelings. No generic comments off their website, fully appraise them for your training dollar has to be stretched.
Are these all of the new challenges facing today’s administrators? NO! There are more that we know are applicable to you and maybe no one else. There are some threats we have not fathomed yet. The problems we face today cannot be solved with yesteryears’ thinking and solutions. Tomorrow’s issues will be solved by thinkers with an eye to the future, not entrenched in the past. It is going to be a challenge for us all, but we are the ones who shoulder this great responsibility, let’s do it!