A couple months back I received a pre-publication copy of “The Active Shooter Response Training Manual,” written by Scott M. Hyderkhan of Kinetic Tactical Training Solutions LLC. The manual included a DVD with both a training powerpoint and video. The publication date was July 15th via CRC Press (crcpress.com) and I’ve spent that time in between reading through the manual and comparing a lot of what’s in it to what’s in the training curriculums I/we currently use.
I have to admit that I had early reservations created when I read some of the promotional material that came with the prepublication manual. It read, in part, “Using established doctrine developed by the U.S. Army…” I sat back and considered that. Given that I know of only one active shooter event that occurred on a military installation, that being Ft. Hood, and knowing that the “alleged” perpetrator, Nidal Hasan, is still in prison and that the neutralization of the threat (Hasan) during the attack itself was not accomplished by military members but instead by contracted police officers, I had to wonder if we (law enforcement) really wanted to model any of our tactics after the Army’s?
Setting aside that prejudice I began to read/study the manual. In order it covers:
- Active Shooter Response Mission and Operation
- Principles of Training & Developing An Active Shooter Response Training Plan
- Movement and Maneuver
- Close Quarter Battle
- Individual Tasks
- Collective Tasks
- Command Post, Command & Control Considrations
- Task Performance Evaluations
- Active Shooter Response Special Equipment
The general language of the manual is that of a military manual as compared to a contemporary law enforcement training manual. There is nothing wrong with that and I’ve long believed that we in law enforcement all too often ignore the potential resource value of publicly available military manuals. That said, I came to two conclusions that I felt were important as one considered the value of the training contained.
First, when you consider the tactics used in a high risk scenario, such as Active Shooter Response, there is very little difference between military and law enforcement tactics. Moving toward a threat while under fire is pretty much the same no matter what uniform you wear; however, the allowable tools you use in response are controlled by different protocols.
Second, no matter what resource you’re using, such as this manual, it behooves you – the instructor developing and delivering the training – to use it ONLY as a resource, insuring that what you glean from it you then incorporate into your own curriculum within the boundaries of your agency policies as well as local, state and federal laws. The responsibility for what you teach is on YOU – not the resource material you use.
So, in reviewing this manual as a resource I have to give it props. It takes a structured approach to not only the basic response needs and tactics, but to some of the management / control issues as well. Where a typical response training manual might address only the tactics and equipment, this one adds in some information on how to develop your own training plan. Further, it delineates both individual and collective tasks (group/team tasks) that could be vital to the successful neutralization of an active shooter threat.
The published price of $89.95 on CRCPress.com may seem a bit steep, but when you consider the cost of text books in general today AND you take into consideration that you get the powerpoint file and the instructional video with it, that $89.95 looks much more reasonable. The book is available in electronic format with a published price of $62.00. It may just be me, but I prefer to have such resource material in hard copy.
If you’re looking to build an Active Shooter Response Program OR if you feel you may need to revamp yours, consider this book as a resource to do so. With the advent of active shooter response training about 13 years ago, we’ve seen tactics and policies evolve greatly. This book/resource helps you to keep track of the basics, which will be required no matter what else may evolve.