THE MAGAZINE

Ready to Respond

By Jennie Mclamb, CPP, PSP, PCI


Firearms.
The fourth day of training involves firearm simulations with a computer-based simulator that uses the same caliber and type of firearms the officers carry on site. Using a simulator for judgmental shooting, officers practice shoot/don’t shoot drills to minimize mistakes in a real situation. They also practice cover and concealment.

While one group of officers is practicing with the simulators, another group uses inert detailed replicas of actual weapons—known as Blueguns because of their color—to practice sweeps and room clearing. This is done both individually and in teams. Additional staff or instructors role-play as employees hiding from an active shooter or as wounded victims. Officers are trained to respond appropriately to each situation by evacuating hiding employees, neutralizing the active-shooter threat, and tending to victims.

The officers also practice working in teams, with the lead officer asking other team members for help with escorting employees and tending to victims. The team’s main focus, however, is to neutralize the threat. As a result, officers must decide how best to proceed. Options include leaving the uninjured or those with minor injuries. The training makes clear that if officers must leave people behind, they should notify the command center as soon as possible about the number, location, and condition of any employees they find. Company policies or contract procedures are also included in the training if appropriate.

Final drills.
The final day of training involves the use of training ammunition, such as Simunitions or Airsoft, in a training facility designed to look like an office building with cubicles. The day includes scenario training in which an active-shooter incident occurs in the workplace. Officers as well as personnel from the command center are involved in conducting the exercise. Trainers watch to determine how well officers follow standard operating procedures.

The scenario training is designed to be as true to life as possible, with cameras linking back to a simulated control center. This allows command center personnel to practice their duties as well. In some instances, it is possible to have local police and first responders participate in the exercise. However, if that is not possible, then instructors or company employees will stand in and role-play as these individuals so that officers can practice appropriate responses. Extras will also be recruited to play victims and passersby.

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