Rock Valley College Police Chief Joe Drought has developed a training course called Practical Response to Active Shooters. He and his staff have trained over 1,200 individuals in the past year, with half of those training events occurring in educational settings outside of the college campus. Chief Drought’s training is designed for civilian educators who work in environments where concealed carry is prohibited. This training provides the following recommendations for surviving a mass shooting.
Evacuate The Area: This means to run away from the threat if it is possible to do so without being exposed. Drought explains that this might not always possible.
Harden The Target: If evacuation is not possible without confronting the threat, make your location more difficult to access. Do this by barricading and locking the doors. This may not stop the threat, but will hopefully slow it down. As mentioned before, these incidents usually conclude quickly.
Prepare For The Attack: While barricaded, make a decision on whether or not to fight. If one chooses not to fight, locate an area that will and can provide cover. If the choice is to fight back, identify improvised weapons within the environment and potential distraction devices.
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Distraction Tactics: If the suspect breaches the area, those who choose to fight should implement a distraction technique immediately. This can be in the form of throwing books or papers in the face of the suspect to momentarily distract and disorient him.
Swarm The Suspect: Once the distraction technique is implemented, it must immediately be followed up with an aggressive assault. Swarming the suspect and attacking him with improvised weapons (pens, keyboards, shelves) dynamically is the best bet in this situation. It is important to be mentally prepared for a vicious attack. Attacking areas like the eyes and groin are often difficult to imagine, let alone employ. Once a commitment is made to fight, there are no rules.
Chief Drought explains that his training also implements hands-on training including wrestling and gun grabs. It teaches students how to disarm the shooter with training long guns. Since the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Chief Drought reports that his phone has been “ringing off the hook” for training requests for schools from K-12.
Although the incidents of active shooters, or rapid mass murders, are still relatively rare phenomena, they are occurring with more frequency. These incidents are over in a matter of seconds or minutes, generally making a coordinated law enforcement response a moot approach. If one unarmed and untrained person can end such horror, imagine the impact concealed carry could have on future attempts. Not only could allowing concealed carry end these situations quicker and with less casualties, but it also might just serve as a deterrent. Watch the Practical Response to Active Shooter training video from the Rock Valley College Police Department below.