According to Pinkerton-the leading provider of risk management services in the world-workplace violence is second only to cybersecurity as the top threat faced by organizations today. Incidents involving active shooters in the workplace are on the rise and becoming more violent and deadly. Active Shooter provides the tools necessary to identify potential violent individuals, along with the options and responses needed to save lives, reduce corporate liability, and recover from an active shooter event should it happen.
Active Shooter begins with a brief history of active shooters and how they have changed over time. It shows why many perpetrators initiate attacks, what they often are thinking, and some of the indicators that could have been identified prior to the attack. The book shows how to develop an active shooter program in an organization, walking readers through the entire process including training exercises to test the efficiency of the program. With the uniquely private security perspective, Active Shooter illustrates how to communicate with law enforcement, government agencies, and the media in the event of active shooter incident. The book concludes with a discussion of how organizations can recover promptly after an incident, which is crucial for operational survival.
- Illustrates what businesses should consider prior to, during, and after an active shooting event, including developing business continuity plan
- Demonstrates the importance of preparedness, an effective coordinated response, and planning all the way down to the frontline employee
- Addresses the private sector and public sector coordination efforts needed for an effective active shooter program
- Offers teaching and learning tools such as text boxes, end-of-chapter discussion questions, lists of key DHS, FBI and FEMA websites and resources, as well as training exercises and case studies
Active Shooters and Workplace Violence
Active shooters and similar threats are on the rise and are becoming more violent. Although active shootings are becoming more common, many organizations still have not addressed this real threat and taken the appropriate precautionary measures. In addition, problems stemming from the workplace or being bullied while at school can develop into a wide range of violent behaviors, and early detection and intervention is best for all parties involved. Having a solid understanding of why perpetrators initiate an attack, as well as what they often are thinking and some of the indicators that could have been identified before an attack are equally significant for preventing such violence. The ability to recognize the triggers and actors involved in active shooter incidents is critical to mitigating the risk of such events. Active shootings can be disastrous events for a business-the costs involved and resulting effects may cause a business to close its doors forever. We must take a serious approach to preventing and intervening in these horrific attacks.
Active Shooter; Workplace Violence; Mass Killing; Terrorists; Casualties; Killed and Wounded
January 5, 2015, starts as a normal day of school for 223 kids at the Camp Hill Middle School in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. The children have just returned to school after having several days off to celebrate the holiday season and are busy with their daily routines preparing for first-period homeroom. As they gather their books and supplies and walk to their assigned classrooms, a single police offer directs foot traffic at the main crosswalk adjacent to the school. Camp Hill is a quiet community that seldom experiences any type of violent crime, and the local police department has a visible presence within the community. The students all know each other at school and often engage in community and church activities together after the school day ends.
Bang! Bang! Two shots ring out. Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! A rapid burst of shots is booming down the downstairs hallway. Outside, the police officer is still directing vehicles and pedestrian traffic. He pauses and looks behind at the main school building-he has heard some sounds but isn't sure what is causing the commotion. Bang! Bang! Bang! More shots ring out. Now the officer freezes, still reluctant to leave his post: The sounds are still somewhat foreign to him, for the building structure and composition is muffling the sounds of gunfire. About ten seconds have elapsed. Bang! Bang! When approximately thirty screaming kids pour out of the main school entrance, the officer realizes that something is very, very wrong.
Ten more seconds have elapsed. The scene is complete chaos. The officer calls in the incident and then forces his way through the chaotic scene. Children are screaming at him that someone has a gun and is shooting. Several teachers now have exited the building, some with visible signs of injuries, including signs of shock. They grab at the officer, trying to get assistance. As the officer rips the students' hands off of his uniform, pushes through the human blockade and yells for everyone to get back. An announcement can be heard throughout the school from a very shaky and stressed voice coming across the public address system: "There is a shooter in the building! This is not a drill! This is not a drill! Follow your protocols and secure your classrooms!" Bang! Bang! Bang! More shots ring out.
Ten more seconds have expired. The officer now is in the main downstairs hallway, looking at several bodies lying bloody on the floor. He steps over the wounded and dying souls to pursue the threat. He sees a dark figure disappear in the west stairwell and sprints down the hall in pursuit. The officer radios back that a suspect has been seen entering the west stairwell and is believed to be heading to the upstairs classrooms. He then enters the stairwell using cover and watching his angles of exposure before heading up the stairs. The officer is now on the second floor-he peers around the hall door threshold, quickly evaluates the situation, and rapidly passes through the doorway to minimize his exposure.
Fifteen more seconds have elapsed. A second, then a third patrol car arrives on the scene. The streets are in pandemonium. Kids are running and wandering through the streets, and abandoned vehicles are blocking traffic and response vehicles. Bloody and wounded victims are looking for any help they can find. EMTs and firefighters have set up a safe perimeter and have started to redirect traffic in the area. They are waiting for the all-clear to enter into the danger zone and start helping the victims. Additional officers quickly move in through the main school entrance to assist the first officer; they move up the east stairwell in an attempt to cut the suspect off. Bang! A lone shot rings out. The first responding officer can be heard yelling, "Drop the weapon! Drop the weapon!" but it is no matter: The lone gunman has committed suicide. The policeman kicks the shotgun away from the shooter's hand, rolls over his limp body, and places the dying suspect in handcuffs. The shooting is now over, but the incident response is still progressing, and the recovery phase has just begun.
The incident described is not a real event, but it could be. It could be any school, business, or organization. It could be in a quiet community with low crime rates. It could happen to you. Most organizations are not prepared for such an event. They have not properly planned for, nor determined, all the potential aspects that an active shooter incident may cause-and, frankly, there is no longer any excuse for a lack of planning when it comes to active shooters. There are many historical incidents and available data to assist organizations in developing both workplace violence and active shooter programs to mitigate loss, improve response, reduce effects, and assist in the recovery phase of such tragic events.
The goal of this book is to provide information to the private sector, as well as to public officials and law enforcement professionals, to help better understand how to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from such incidents. It is our objective to provide facts and methods to better deter, mitigate, train for, and reduce the effects of these catastrophic attacks.
The world is experiencing one of the most intensive periods of active shooter incidents in history. The latest report issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2014  indicates that active shooter incidents in the United States have more than doubled over the past seven years. During the same period, the amount of casualties from these incidents has more than quadrupled. With over four times the casualties and twice the number of active shooter events over a fourteen-year span, it is anticipated that this expansive trend will continue on an upward spiral in the future.
Events such as the December 13, 2013, shooting at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado, in which a high school student, Karl Pierson, walked into school and shot another student in the head before committing suicide, are rapidly becoming an all too common occurrence these days. Similar incidents such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which occurred on December 14, 2012, and in which a single gunman, Adam Lanza, forced his way into the school, killing twenty children and six adults, wounding two others before fatally shooting himself, have put organizations on notice. Such tragic events are becoming commonplace in our society and are evolving and reoccurring-the active shooter threat can no longer be ignored.
Several incidents that have occurred in the United States follow:
December 13, 2013: Arapahoe High School, Centennial, Colorado: 2 killed
December 14, 2012: Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut: 27 killed and 2 wounded
July 20, 2012: Cinemark Century Movie Theater, Aurora, Colorado: 12 killed and 58 wounded
January 8, 2011: Political event outside a grocery store, Tucson, Arizona: 6 killed and 14 wounded
November 5, 2009: Fort Hood Soldier Readiness Processing Center, Fort Hood, Texas: 13 killed and 32 wounded
April 16, 2007: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia: 32 killed and 17 wounded
February, 12, 2007: Trolley Square Mall, Salt Lake City, Utah: 6 killed and 4 wounded
October 2, 2006: Amish School, Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania: 5 killed and 5 wounded
This recent period of concentrated violence has seen more than 486 people killed and 557 people wounded by active shooters. This escalation in the frequency and lethality of such attacks carried out by active shooters within the United States is a serious cause for concern.
As well as in the United States, there is a rise in the number of such incidents in many other countries around the world. It is often assumed that active shooters are only a U.S. problem-that if a country allows firearm ownership, it will experience more shootings. This is not true, however; nations that restrict gun ownership are often at a huge disadvantage when a shooting does occur, thanks to the proper preparation and training in that country. Active shooter incidents are a worldwide problem, and all nations must properly develop programs to prevent and mitigate the risk from such threats. International cases...