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Bob Parker

Bob Parker

Lt. Robert Parker served with the Omaha (Neb.) PD for 30 years and commanded the Emergency Response Unit. He is responsible for training thousands of law enforcement instructors in NTOA's Patrol Response to Active Shooters courses.

Jose Medina

Jose Medina

Officer Jose Medina is an active member of the Piscataway (N.J.) Police Department's SWAT team and runs Awareness Protective Consultants (Team APC) tactical training.

5 Active Shooter Training Scenarios

These five scenarios will help your tactical team stay ready to meet an active-shooter threat.

December 29, 2011  |  by Bob Parker - Also by this author

Photo: POLICE file
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.

Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Pup @ 1/4/2012 10:44 AM

Good training scenarios. Remember not to only train with the Swat Team but your patrol personnel as well. Nearly 100% of the time, patrol will be the first on scene during a active shooter situation. Train with team concept ranging from two deputies to a team of six or more. The first two deputies on scene may have to immediately move forward to engage with the shooter(s). Move as a team. The SEAL quote “one is none, two is one” reminds us how strong we are in a team concept. There's no time to waste when innocent lives are being wasted. When moving to the primary, always use caution, good tactics, by pass the innocent injured/dead until the primary shooter(s) are eliminated. The way you train today, will be the way you will react in the field and under pressure. Be safe and God Bless.

David Tyson @ 1/8/2012 7:05 PM

Very good scenarios.
Our department purchased iMarksman system and we are able to buld our own scenarios. This artical is a big help

juan velez @ 1/23/2013 9:43 PM

Stevens p d detective in hoboken nj. Looking to train and learn active shooting.

CJBANDO @ 5/15/2013 8:47 AM

remember to include your dispatchers... they need practice too so they can anticipate your needs and effectively assist in a situation like this!!

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