Presidents’s Message & Topic of the Month by Dr. Hector R. Garcia

January 2018, Presidents’s Message

Happy Holidays to all of our members as we close out 2017, let’s not forget about our students that are endangered or missing. At our 49th Annual Conference in Long Island, NY, we will have John F. Clark, President and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, present at one of our Lunch Plenary sessions. It is important for school leaders to understand the valuable services and tools available for a child that becomes missing and is endangered. 

Happy New Year to all of our members and the communities we serve. As we start to 2018, we often look back at the previous year and try to make up for our shortcomings. Let’s not make a New Year resolution since this is a negative word which means to resolve. Instead, we should be establishing goals and objectives and approaching the New Year in a positive manner. Just as a teacher or an instructor uses a lesson plan to guide them and deliver a course, we should use this same method to attain positive items for the New Year. Many people will often look for this New Year to bring peace around our communities. In order for us to have peace in this New Year, we should utilize the Four (4) P’s. Peace is attainable by Prayer, Promise, Praise and Practice. We all need a higher power for assistance or divine intervention because we cannot do this alone. We also need to fulfill the oaths we took to keep our communities safe. Additionally, we need thank and acknowledge the great work that is conducted by our school safety officials and first responders. More importantly, we all need to practice good habits because this leads to good actions. Never forget that school safety is the foundation for a great education. Unfortunately, there are times when school safety is threatened by forces and people who want to harm our students and faculty. This is why training is so important in our industry. What you do before a critical incident will greatly assist you during and after these events take place. In fact, 85 percent of a critical incident is what is performed “Before” the incident. I urge all those who are interested in learning about prevention, preparedness, and mitigation to attend our 49th Annual Training Conference in Long Island, NY with our emphasis on “Safety And Security Around The Clock.” Check out information on this year’s conference at http://www.nassleo.org/conference49.php.

As always Stay Safe Out There!

Chief Ian A. Moffett, President

President of NASSLEO

Education First Safety Always

Since 1969

 

Active Shooters in America: An Increasing Threat to Our Communities

Dr. Hector R Garcia,

December 1, 2017

Major Hector Garcis

 

An Active Shooter is defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, 2014) as a “…situation in which 

a shooting is in progress and an aspect of the crime may affect the protocols used in

responding to and reacting at the scene of the incident” (p. 4). Recent Active Shooter incidents such as the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre, the Las Vegas Harvest festival mass shooting and the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, FL all mark an increasing trend in the frequency of these events.

Active Shooter1Descriptive statistics from a joint FBI and the Texas State University Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center (2014) study, revealed the following alarming data regarding active shooters–

  • 160 active shooter incidents occurred between 2000 and 2013;
  • 1,043 casualties recorded;
  • An average of 11.4 incidents occurred per year with an increasing rate noted for each year;
  • 70% of these incidents took place in a commerce/business or educational setting;
  • 60% of these incidents occurred prior to law enforcement

A typology (FBI, 2014) of the active shooters revealed the following noteworthy information:

  • All but two of the incidents involved a single shooter;
  • In at least nine incidents, the shooter killed a family member first and then proceeded to the mass shooting episode;
  • The clear majority of active shooters are male; only six were females;
  • 40% of all active shooters committed suicide prior to police arrival;
  • 13% of active shooter incidents ended after unarmed citizen restrained the

Just this year alone, Active Shooter incidents have taken place in both large and small cities, hospitals, churches, airport baggage claim area and a Wal-Mart in Colorado (MSN, 2017). Two major Active Shooter training initiatives have emerged to prepare citizens for the ever-increasing chance that they somehow will become involved in an Active Shooter incident.

The first is the FBI’s recommended response to Active Shooters named “Run, Hide, Fight” (FBI, 2017). Since this training started, over 130,000 people have successfully completed the Active Shooter training. According to the US Department of Homeland Security (2017), the following instructions apply to Active Shooter scenarios –

Run – have an escape plan; leave your belongings behind and keep your hands visible.

Hide- out of the shooter’s view; block / lock doors where you are hiding; silence cell phones.

Fight- last resort when your life is in imminent danger; attempt to incapacitate shooter; throw items at shooter.

The second school of thought, based on the ALLERT program, is the Civilian Response to Active Shooter (CRASE) initiative (Avoid, Deny, Defend, 2017). The major tenets of this Active Shooter training follow –

Avoid – pay attention to your surroundings; move away from threat quickly; use barriers; Deny- maintain distance form shooter; turn lights off; hide behind objects and silence phone;

Active Shooter2Defend- be prepared to defend yourself; be aggressive; do not fight fairly – this is about survival.

The increase in the frequency and scope of Active Shooters has continued to rise in the United States. These incidents are taking place in all areas of our society and citizens are becoming prepared on how to survive an Active Shooter through training and familiarization programs. No matter which school of thought you subscribe to, it is significant to you and your sphere of family, friend and colleagues to understand and be prepared on how to survive an Active Shooter situation.

References

ALLERT, (2014). Advanced law enforcement rapid response training. Retrieved on November 12, 2017 from https://www.alerrt.org/

Avoid, Deny, Defend, (2017). Avoid, deny, defend. Retrieved on November 13, 2017 from http://www.avoiddenydefend.org/add.html

Federal Bureau of Investigation, (2014). A study of active shooter incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013. Retrieved on November 11, 2017 from file:///C:/Users/hgarc/AppData/Local/Packages/Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe/TempState/Downloads/(U)_ActiveShooter021317_17B_WEB.PDF

MSN, (2017). What to do in a shooting: Americans stream to classes to learn ‘run, hide, fight’. Retrieved on November 13, 2017 from https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/what-to-do-in-a-shooting- americans-stream-to-classes-to-learn-run-hide-fight/ar-BBENErc?li=BBnbcA1

US Department of Homeland Security, (2017). Active shooter pocket guide. Retrieved on November 13, 2017 from https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/active_shooter_pocket_card_508.pdf