How Can Schools Become Better Prepared for “Active Shooter” Situations?

January 2, 2013 at 13:36
Posted in General

In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, I write this with a heavy heart.  As I cannot imagine the terror within the classrooms that was brought upon those children and staff members, I consider the fact that most active shootings take only a few minutes to happen and the vast majority are over by the time the Police arrive.  I strongly believe that the personnel at Sandy Hook responded valiantly and we consider them heroes, and so I wonder how we can better prepare such heroes to handle such traumatic high-stress situations as an “active shooter” incident.

Schools prepare regularly for a fire with coordinated drills and as a result many schools experience little or no issues when fires occur. Yet, we have experienced tragedies in schools based on “active shooter” events.  Orderly fire drill-type evacuations are not the best solution to “active shooter” incidents since, in this type of event, such stress overwhelms the mind’s ability to reason and make decisions.  People respond only with gross motor skills and a fight or flight instinct.  If they have not been trained on what to do, and have it reinforced on a regular basis, the chances of the best outcome possible become less likely.

In my opinion, all schools should review and consider an “Active Shooter” Training Program. Teachers and School Administrators can become prepared by learning best practices from current and former First Responders, Law Enforcement and Subject Matter Experts through such a course.  This kind of training provides realistic scenario-based situations to better prepare teachers and administrators in the event this type of tragedy occurs on their campus.  It can provide the mental training we can all use to make better decisions in situations with an “active shooter.”

Active Shooter Programs promote an emphasis on responding under overwhelming stress and what should be done in the first few seconds to save lives. 

·         Decision-making under stress

·         Ad-hoc Barricade Techniques

·         Victim Rescue Techniques

·         Self-Aid/Buddy-Aid

·         Improvised Weapons

·         Self Defense

Get involved.  Recommend that your school districts consider evaluating this type of training to become better prepared.

Visit for a list of our latest course offerings.

Debate Reigns in Supreme Court Hearing for Chicago’s Handgun Ban

March 10, 2010 at 08:29
Posted in Duty Gear | General
For those following my blog posts regarding firearms rights or to anyone closely following the news at all, last week was a big week for those involved on either side of the gun rights argument, with the recent arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of McDonald v. City of Chicago. However, it only appeared to be a good day for one side… Read More »

Why Training is Even More Important in a Down Economy

January 19, 2010 at 12:52
Posted in General
The economic crisis is taking a toll on just about every aspect of American business. As well, many of our state and local Agencies are undergoing budget cuts for 2010 that may force them to cut officers at a time when some cities are experiencing crime rates that are higher than ever. So, the question is, how can we be better or at least “as efficient” with a reduction in force? Read More »

Chicago Handgun Ban: Date Set for Supreme Court Hearing of McDonald vs. City of Chicago

December 17, 2009 at 06:00
Posted in Duty Gear | General
A date has been set for the McDonald v. City of Chicago Supreme Court case. On March 2nd, 2010 the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments addressing whether the city of Chicago is in violation of the Constitution in banning handguns, the annual taxation of firearms, and other items. Although the SC’s previous Heller decision would seem to clearly oppose those regulations, since the case involved Washington D.C., it only applies to that location for the time being. Read More »

Urban Shield 2009

November 24, 2009 at 15:21
Posted in General | Hard Armor
The San Francisco Bay Area was the setting once again this year during the 2009 Urban Shield exercises and Safariland was there! Over 27 teams including Boston PD, the French Nationals “RAID” team and the FBI participated in the events which aim to assess overall tactical, fire and EMS skills in a series of real-life scenarios such as Maritime Interdiction, Tubular Extraction, Hostage Rescue and Active Shooter. Read More »

The 5 Most Interesting Law Enforcement Podcasts

September 30, 2009 at 12:44
Posted in General
Regardless of your role in law enforcement, there is always a need for more knowledge. However, finding good information on the internet can often be a difficult and time consuming process. Luckily, over the past few years, Podcasts have become a great way to get information on-demand easily. Read More »

SWAT Hands

August 6, 2009 at 08:27
Posted in General
In looking at a typical law enforcement officer, it is difficult to distinguish whether that officer is a SWAT officer, or a patrol officer. You can’t go by their physique; even the officer working in the Auto Pound works out. You can’t go with the gait, (or as non-SWAT people call it, the “arrogant strut”); there are quite a few officers that possess more than their fare share of arrogance. You sure can’t determine if an officer is a SWAT officer or not by the holstered hair dryer; more and... Read More »

Ninth Circuit Court upholds Second Amendment as a State Right

June 2, 2009 at 16:32
Posted in Duty Gear | General
Following in the steps of the United States Supreme Court’s Heller decision reaffirming the individual nature of the Second Amendment, there was a major victory for gun rights in the 9th Circuit Court, which covers California, Oregon, Hawaii, Washington, Arizona and other western states. Read More »

Bulletproof Vest Partnership now Accepting Applications for Body Armor Funding

May 20, 2009 at 10:41
Posted in Body Armor | General | Hard Armor
So, your department needs new body armor but budgets are a bit tight? The U.S. DOJ’s Bulletproof Vest Program (BVP) may be the perfect solution! On May 13, 2009, the FY 2009 BVP program began accepting applications. The program is a DOJ initiative designed to provide a critical funding resource for state and local law enforcement to purchase body armor and related equipment... Read More »

Pushing Rope

May 19, 2009 at 14:19
Posted in Firearms Accessories | General
Ever heard the phrase “Pushing Rope”?, meaning doing something that doesn’t work. This weekend I was reminded why nothing beats having a cleaning rod available while shooting. At a recent Speed Steel match, I encountered a number of malfunctions. Given I was using a variety of ammo I had begged, borrowed or stolen from friends, this wasn’t a surprise. On the bright side I got lots of practice doing mag changes and jam clearing. Read More »