Active Shooter Training Thoughts | MassCops

Active Shooter Training Thoughts

Discussion in 'Law Enforcement Education & Training Questions' started by Hush, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. Hush

    Hush Moderator Staff Member

    I have a friend who is director of security for a large NH hospital and they are running a joint Active Shooter exercise today with the local PD/FD/EMS/ETC. I asked if they had considered adding an armed civilian component and he said he wishes I asked him earlier. I think part of responding to an active shooter/killer during training should integrate the possibility of encountering an armed civilian "good guy".

    Has anyone participated in an exercise that included that in the preparation or exercise, or even been briefed on the possibility?

    I also think civilian training programs should address what to do when caught in an active shooter event and confronted with encountering responding LE. There is one training video out that strongly advocates only drawing to engage, and IMMEDIATELY re-holstering. I think concealing the firearm is paramount before attempting to get the attention of responding officers.
    Irishpride likes this.
  2. Irishpride

    Irishpride Subscribing Member

    Recently I participated in the planning of a response to active shooters in healthcare faculty. Two of the best recommendations are:
    1. Making sure carts on medical floors have equipment to treat GSW's. Most do not and seeing as EMS response could be delayed it is important for the on site medical staff to be able to treat patients
    2. Not using codes over the PA system simply announcing the situation. Instead of using codes simply announce an active shooter and the location that way off duty LEO's and armed good Samaritans can be aware of this situation and respond. Also it prevents others from unintentionally walking into a situation because that have no idea what the code means.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. Dan Stark

    Dan Stark Tears of a Clown

    I honestly think that the burden for an armed citizen responding to a threat falls in them. If they are too dumb to reholster a gun instead of standing over a body with it ... Oh well.
    Hush, niteowl1970 and Irishpride like this.
  4. LA Copper

    LA Copper Subscribing Member

    This same theory applies to off-duty and plain clothes officers as well. They need to holster up also (as long as the suspect is not a threat) or have their badge and or ID out and verbally identify themselves so that responding officers know who they are.

    In a situation where shots have already been fired, it's obviously very stressful and tense. Anyone not in uniform can easily be mistaken for the bad guy when an officer is focused on not getting killed themselves. They need to follow the orders of uniformed personnel to the letter to avoid a tragedy of Blue on Blue.

    My division had an OIS last week of a suspect armed with a shotgun. I arrived as the incident commander within two minutes of the actual shooting with the suspect down. As I looked into the faces of the officers near the shooting itself, I could see "that look," even though the situation was stable. It can happen to the best of us as we're only human.

    Any training is good training as Hush already knows.
    Hush likes this.
  5. Hush

    Hush Moderator Staff Member

    Speaking of the look, the training today used Red Guns...and there was still a guy with the shakes....I hope they keep him near the back of the stack.
    the42cop and mpd61 like this.
  6. Irishpride

    Irishpride Subscribing Member

    Or perimeter

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  7. Dan Stark

    Dan Stark Tears of a Clown

    Water Boy.

    I got shakes once. Guy was 10 yards away, not responding to commands with hands behind back. On trigger wall and close to break if he ran at me. Had knife after we proned him. Shakes kicked in hour later. Was strange
    mpd61 and Hush like this.
  8. pahapoika

    pahapoika Subscribing Member

    Just carry one of these :D

  9. Hush

    Hush Moderator Staff Member

    Speaking of badges (we don't need no stinking badges), studies have shown that badges on belts are often missed during stressful encounters. The safest place to carry it has been shown to be center mass on a neck chain.
  10. Pvt. Cowboy

    Pvt. Cowboy Lemme take a selfie Staff Member

    Sounds familiar... Like we just heard this...
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  11. Goose

    Goose The list is long but distinguished. Staff Member

    Funny how one guy from my department made fun of me for buying a badge holder where I could do just that. That's okay, they can just be blissfully unaware when something bad happens. :rolleyes:
    Hush likes this.
  12. RodneyFarva

    RodneyFarva Get off my lawn!

    meh, ya can't win on that one... just aim for the shinny thing right at center mass.
    Hush likes this.
  13. Mr Scribbles

    Mr Scribbles Mr

    I usually have an old orange POLICE jacket in my truck. In the event I have to activate-easily accessible while on the road. Also handy to give you visibility if you have to change a tire on the shoulder.
    pahapoika, topcop14 and Hush like this.
  14. pahapoika

    pahapoika Subscribing Member

    I still see Brockton PD sporting the orange jackets.

    Think their making a comeback :cool:
  15. Mr Scribbles

    Mr Scribbles Mr

    They should-that yellow/green gets lost especially on a detail where all the construction workers are wearing the same color. Motorists lose the cops in the crowd. At least in the orange all I get mistaken for is a traffic barrel.
    pahapoika likes this.
  16. mpd61

    mpd61 Retired Fed, Active Special

    I got simple advice for off-duty or civilians alike; Holster up/sit down/rest hands on your knees and be prepared to do WHATEVER the first responders tell you to do.

    Everybody is amped up and ready to snap. Hell I've seen Metro-LEC/STAR assault a uniformed first responder from the primary home agency, who was repeating "blue on blue" and standing in the middle of a hallway. It's just the way it is.
  17. pahapoika

    pahapoika Subscribing Member

    Think the Trooper Coats shooting had that component. Couple of truckers, one armed standing over a fallen officer.

    Very lucky they weren't shot
  18. new guy

    new guy Subscribing Member

    My most recent AST did have 1 scenario that incorporated an armed off duty LE officer. It was one of the trickier scenarios and really got me thinking about how I would need to act if I were in that situation while off duty. He immediately listened to my commands before being painted with simms rounds but I was pretty amped up and without any cover so it really wouldn't have taken much.
    Hush likes this.
  19. LA Copper

    LA Copper Subscribing Member

    I would respectfully disagree with sitting on your hands. I would recommend putting your hands up so everyone can see you have nothing in them as soon as they arrive. Last thing we want is an "amped up" first responding officer to shoot as soon as the off-duty guy raises his hands, thinking he's raising a weapon.
    mpd61 likes this.
  20. Hush

    Hush Moderator Staff Member

    Well, that's a BIG problem :eek:. Fortunately, it CAN be trained out...but how many departments dedicate that much time to training. Amped up responders often focus on the GUN to the exclusion of everything else including clothing, identification, and demeanor. It is shown on paper targets, and sim guns during training. Often there are multiple holes or strikes on the gun itself, because that's where the focus is. Proper training allows you to slow down and take in the situation as a whole, rather than get a startle response from seeing a gun. It's part of the OODA loop: Observe, Orient, Decide, ACT! a strategy for success designed by a fighter pilot. The more scenarios, with more variables, an individual is prepared for, the better chance they have at success. Some departments err on either side by designing scenarios so easy that no learning occurs, or so impossibly hard that the only effect is frustration. Training needs to be structured, repeatable, and evaluated. Role players have the HARDEST job because they need to be consistent, and not try to "game" the exercise.

    Target scanning is an important skill. Most training seems to focus on the hands first, than expand. When that happens, someone holding a gun gets shot....then you see the badge, creds, etc. The more practice you get, the more you look at the person as a whole, THEN collapse to the hands. Eyes, expression, and clothing can have important clues as to the person and their intent.
    the42cop likes this.
  21. pahapoika

    pahapoika Subscribing Member

    Something to think about for officers who like to sport the gang member look off duty.

    Then again i've seen plenty of clean shaven convicts so trying to ID someone can get tricky
  22. mpd61

    mpd61 Retired Fed, Active Special

    True that brother!........Thats why I said sit down and "rest hands on your knees" (where we can see em)
    LA Copper likes this.

    EXTRACOP Lost in the desert..

    How about this for an isolated incident of stupidity... An Inmate get loose while at the hospital. An off duty officer decides, after over hearing us discussing the situation and lock down of the hospital, that he will have a look around for himself without informing the rest of officer present. The off duty officer mets the discription of the missing inmate except for the striped jumpsuit which we think the inmate already dumped. He almost gets shot by my guys in a stairwell that he is searching by himself with his firearm in his hand. To top it off this guy was not a new officer he was a Lt. from two towns over.
    pahapoika, Hush, Goose and 1 other person like this.
  24. Dan Stark

    Dan Stark Tears of a Clown

    JFC fail

    I have one close. I'm plain clothes teaching. Gun must have flashed and a call went in to PD. Two day dopes come strolling up in condition retard... And say oh we just figured it was you. Call came in from a building not anywhere near class. Those guys are just fucking speed bumps if shit happened.
    frank and mpd61 like this.
  25. the42cop

    the42cop MassCops Member

    I think part of the problem is that we (LE) tend to view the GUN as the threat. No gun, no lethal threat. Or less lethal threat. Situation dependent of course. The bad guys however overwhelmingly shoot for the head. Why is that? They don't tend to be better shots than LE. Or at least not on the range. I think it's because to the bad guy WE are the threat. No cop no threat. Their goal is to kill us. Ours is to "Stop the threat" and we train accordingly to lower our force usage when possible. The bad guy doesn't have to worry about that.

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