Photo: POLICE file
Editor's Note: This blog is the first part of a two-part blog covering SWAT active-shooter training.
Staying ready to meet the threat of an active shooter should be one of the primary goals of your tactical unit. With that in mind, let's cover five training scenarios to sharpen your saw.
In each of the following scenarios, you'll want to cleanse and search all participants. Don't use real weapons unless they've been converted to fire Simunition rounds and no live ammo. Before running the scenario, check your facility for hazards.
You'll also want to emphasize teamwork with effective communication.
After any initial engagement or encounter with "hostiles," adhere to the plus-one rule—always look for additional threats and weapons. We aren't done after the first bad guy goes down.
The team members, in some scenarios, will need to articulate why they took action or held back. In some scenarios, the rationale for use of force will be self evident.
Role players are a valuable asset and should be used if at all possible. If they aren't available, make due with what you have. All scenarios should be set up as a win for the students. They should evolve from direct and simpler to the more complex.
Scenario #1, Immediate Confrontation: The contact team is briefed by a controller. The suspect is active. A shot was fired within the past 30 seconds. There are two dead and three wounded. No room clearing is necessary unless the controller gives that instruction. After being given direction, the team moves toward the last known location of the shooter. On their way down the hallway, the shooter emerges from a room. The team engages and puts down the shooter.
This one is simple, direct, and quick. The goal is to work as a team, covering danger areas as they move. Put down the threat and drive on, if necessary.
Scenario #2, Rear-guard Action: The team is directed toward the last known location of the shooter. The controller directs the team to clear rooms. After the clearing element begins to clear a room, the shooter will emerge from a room the team had bypassed (at the controller's direction) and engage the rear guard.
The goal of this scenario is to ensure force security. This scenario also reiterates the importance of the rear guard and the team concept. The team must regroup before approaching the downed shooter and continuing on.