Police have simulated a school shooting on a campus in Modesto, Calif. But the shooting simulation has drawn criticism by some who feel the Sandy Hook shooting is still too fresh. What do you think?
When are they supposed to prepare? After the next massacre? Frankly, I'm surprised Cops in California are allowed to carry guns.
As far as I have read, every school district in America has either updated or initiated some type of planning in the event of a school shooting since the Sandy Hook shooting. So what should the police do? Since Sandy Hook, how many school shootings have there been so far? And how many threats have been made? And how many kids have brought guns to school, no matter what the age of the child is or the reason for bringing a gun to school? Hindsight being 20-20, simulated school shootings should have been in effect at least the day "before" the Sandy Hook shooting, hindsight being 20-20. Therefore, there is no "too soon." I wouldn't want to have to be the one to explain why my department wasn't prepared for a school shooting. Hoping that your department isn't tasked with a school shooting isn't a strategy and telling a parent or a community that your department didn't prepare for a school shooting because it was "too soon" after the Sandy Hook shooting isn't acceptable.
As an Active Shooter instructor, I firmly believe the impetus for training is events just like the Sandy Hook murders. Many of you may recall, the Air Force was in the midst of a full scale exercise with a 9-11 scenario as the script for the day as the actual 9-11 murders began and the terrorists plans began to unfold. Just like we used to say in the military, you train like you fight and you fight like you train. You never stop learning, and no one Officer out there is the expert in all things Active Shooter related. We all need to keep our edged honed, because our lives, and that of the general public, relies on us doing our job. You train until you can't stand it anymore, and then you train some more. I for one seek out every opportunity I can, from every resource I can, to try and keep one step ahead of our adversaries. I don't care if you're a Resource Officer, Loss Prevention staff at a big box store, or a school administrator. Everyone has to be on the same page. We simply cannot let perceived sensitivities get in the way. Until the mass media stops incessantly trotting out victims and their murderers on a 24HR cycle, we will have to face the reality that repetitive crimes of this nature will continue to occur. Failure to plan = fatalities. Plain and simple.
As long as the media makes the KILLER the TV Hero there will be more and more copy cats. Most people know who Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczyski are but who can name two of their victims? If the media would highlight the loss of the victims and paint the killers as the pathetic, suicidal, losers that they are, repeats would taper off.
I beg to differ about the media treating these suspects in mass shootings as if they are some type of hero. I know my curiosity is aroused to find out who the suspect is and what was his/her motivation was for committing such a heinous act. It is difficult to keep this information from the public. It appears that most of these suspects are indeed mentally ill and others have a grudge that manifests itself into a violent act. I do agree though that copy cats see the coverage and are prompted to act. I do wonder if it is the act that the suspect committed that he or she wants the publicity for or do they want the notoriety for themselves? When members of gangs commit crimes, it is a win-win for them if they get the publicity and if they get the notoriety for being "bad asses." I know here in Houston, Texas, the media does its best to downplay gang crimes and activity and will not name the gangs involved unless absolutely necessary but nevertheless, it is newsworthy and it is the media's job and perhaps their obligation to report the news, good or bad. In most of these shootings, it seems that some of the suspects have death wishes and they aren't portrayed very well in the media but if they have a warped or skewed sense of self, then, as you said, they get exactly what they want, to look like a hero to themselves.
The question seems to be, when do we train after an event like the Sandy Hook shooting? The answer would be to train before the event happens and right after the event happens because we never know when the next one will take place. These incidents have been going on for some time now. The event should not define our training schedule. As law enforcement officers, we are responsible to the public we serve. To me the answer would be to train as if the incident will happen in our jurisdiction or one near by that we would respond to. Having trained Active Shooter response for several years, I know that we cannot prepare for every contingency. But we can be prepared to respond to catastrophic events with a willingness, proper mind set and proper training that will allow us to do the job we signed up for and come out on top. Our job is simple; train like our lives depend on it then trust our training.