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Active Shooter Situations: Interacting With First Responders

Staff should be trained to understand and expect that a law enforcement officer’s first priority must be to locate and stop the person(s) believed to be the shooter(s); all other actions are secondary. One comprehensive study determined that more than half of mass-shooting incidents—57 percent—still were under way when the first officer arrived; in 75 percent of those instances that solo officer had to confront the perpetrator to end the threat. In those cases, the officer was shot one-third of the time.

Students and staff should be trained to cooperate and not to interfere with first responders. When law enforcement officer(s) arrives, students and staff must display empty hands with open palms. Law enforcement may instruct everyone to place their hands on their heads, or they may search individuals.