No one wants to imagine being in an active shooter situation, however, the reality is that scenario is becoming much more common. Trainings for these situations are designed not only for the safety of civilians but for the officers themselves. The key to good training is situational awareness and being prepared for the unexpected.
Just last month, the city of El Paso, Texas endured an unimaginable tragedy. Twenty people were killed and more than two dozen injured when a shooter opened fire in a popular shopping complex by shooting at patrons aisle by aisle. Local police, the DEA, FBI, and other specialized units were brought in. Fortunately, the suspect was detained without further incident. Two days later, Dayton, Ohio encountered a similar situation when a gunman opened fire in a populated bar area.
Preparation for these types of incidents require depth training on many levels including tactical technique, possible medical aid, and negotiating skills. It is in the best interest of all to be as prepared as possible. Departments need to ensure their officers remain vigilant and keep up on training and technique as much as possible.
Recent surveillance technology has been enhanced in such a way that it helps officers identify threats before the first shot is fired. In this issue we discuss these surveillance advancements such as facial recognition, and the use of this technology in public facilities and even schools to prevent active shooter threats.
These particular systems can help first responders be in the know and potentially one step ahead of any threats that may surface. Facial recognition software can help officers identify a subject and the advancement of this technology takes this one step further with the ability to send first responders a signal immediately expediting response time.
Going hand in hand with active shooter scenarios is having the knowledge of how to conduct tactical EMS in the event something does happen in the field. This type of medical assistance requires fast decisions, a steady hand in the line of fire, and the right training.
Remaining vigilant is not limited to particular situations. Skill, intuition, and knowledge are at the heart of these scenarios. The more departments invest in educating their personnel the more likely a threat may be decreased and everyone involved will go home safe.