active shooter | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s), and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

From the law enforcement perspective, an active shooter is a highly dangerous individual who poses a severe threat to public safety. These individuals are actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated and confined area, and they often use firearms to carry out their deadly acts.

One of the most challenging aspects of responding to an active shooter incident is the unpredictable nature of the attack. Unlike other forms of violence, active shooters have no specific target in mind, and they tend to attack indiscriminately. As such, it is essential for law enforcement officials to be prepared and ready to respond quickly and effectively to an active shooter incident.

Law enforcement officials must be trained to respond to incidents in a manner that protects public safety while minimizing the risk to themselves and others. This includes having a comprehensive understanding of the characteristics of an active shooter, as well as the tactics and techniques used by these individuals. Law enforcement officials must also be trained in the use of specialized equipment and tactics, such as tactical entry and clearing, hostage rescue, and crisis negotiation.

In addition to training and preparation, law enforcement officials must also work closely with other first responders, including emergency medical personnel and fire department officials. Effective communication and coordination between these different groups are essential for a successful response.

Law enforcement officials can also play a critical role in preventing active shooter incidents from occurring in the first place. This includes working closely with schools, businesses, and other organizations to develop and implement effective security measures, such as access control systems and video surveillance. Law enforcement officials can also help to identify potential threats and intervene before a situation escalates into an active shooter incident.

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Last Modified: 07/19/2021

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