How Law Enforcement Can Respond to Active Shooters

Facing an active shooter in a school or any public location is a nightmarish situation for first responders, but these professionals must be able to handle these tragedies. Training encompasses this scenario in all its horror so that law enforcement is prepared to take effective action immediately. Preparation for this situation evolved from actual shooting events, starting with Colorado’s Columbine High School in 1999. Since that day, officials have developed new tactics focused on quickly assessing and acting. Specific procedures have been set in place to help law enforcement respond to active shooters.

Initial Preparation

The first officers on the scene of an active shooting need to assess the situation quickly. They assume a person or persons are trying to hurt and kill others, but they also must assume other things will quickly happen and prepare for them. These developments include:

  • Relatives and/or parents of hostages and victims, along with local media outlets will arrive.
  • Cellular towers and landline phone systems will probably become overloaded.
  • If the facilities involved are schools or businesses, they will have some sort of lockdown protocol in place.

Law enforcement agencies’ responses to shooting situations involve dealing with these initial developments in specific ways, such as:

  • Responders will set up alternate locations for relatives and press to wait to avoid crowding the scene.
  • Responders will close roads and control traffic in the vicinity of the shooting event.
  • Responders will refer to maps of the facilities when available.

These steps help law enforcement manage these tense, explosive situations in a manner designed to keep the actual scene as clear as possible of potential victims and minimize distractions for the direct responders. This way, they can focus entirely on stopping the shooter.

Facility Responses

When those caught up in an active shooting situation take helpful actions, they help law enforcement respond more effectively even though they may be panicked. Clients who come to you with concerns about the potential for a shooting incident at their location are trying to prepare and be proactive. You can offer them protection tailored to their needs through thoughtfully designed active shooter insurance packages.

Your clients can choose from bespoke protection for active shooter liability as well as a risk management policy that provides a review designed to help them assess and develop their policies for dealing with a shooter. Innovative coverage clearly defines a firearm as a portable weapon able to discharge bullets and projectiles and does not exclude terrorists or even those covered under the policy. This clause is important. For example, this would be necessary if a teacher became the active shooter. While nobody wants to face this situation, you can help your clients have peace of mind with an innovative active shooter insurance policy.

About PGUI

Professional Governmental Underwriters, LLC, is a full-service risk management company dedicated to assisting public, educational and non-profit entities in the management of their professional liability exposures including educators liability insurance. We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art professional underwriting management and loss control advisory services on behalf of our designated carriers. For more information, call us toll-free at (800) 586-6502.