Richard FairburnLaw Enforcement Firearms
with Richard Fairburn

Example: Mass murder scene involving one or more active shooters

Upon report of an active shooter in a densely populated venue — say a school or crowed theater — the first arriving patrol officer(s) should make entry to locate/neutralize the killer(s) and serve as a pathfinder for the next arriving officer(s). Once multiple officers are on scene, the senior patrol leader will assume command of the team — establishing tactical command. This team’s mission will be to stop the killing.

Since all of the first arriving law enforcement assets will be entering the kill zone until the killing is stopped, a senior fire commander can establish forward command and designate a Command Post and staging area outside the kill zone. The command post’s initial focus is to assemble and deploy additional police teams into the kill zone as they arrive. Concurrently, the Command Post should assemble and stage rescue teams made up of Fire/EMS medics escorted by Police assets. As areas are cleared by Tactical Command, the Rescue Teams will deploy into the kill zone to treat/transport casualties.

A local EOC should be activated to prepare plans for long-term management of the scene, follow-up investigations and media relations.

About the author

Dick Fairburn has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience in both Illinois and Wyoming, working patrol, investigations and administrative assignments. Dick has also served as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst and as the Section Chief of a major academy's Firearms Training Unit and Critical Incident training program. He has a B.S. in Law Enforcement Administration from Western Illinois University and was the Valedictorian of his recruit class at the Illinois State Police Academy. He has published more than 100 feature articles and two books: Police Rifles and Building a Better Gunfighter.

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