Changes in Policy after School Shootings

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Policies have changed since the shooting happened in Littleton, Colorado. Before Columbine the primary goal of law enforcement officers before and during a shooting was to set up a perimeter and await arrival of SWAT members (Erickson, 2001). This policy has changed in many states including Pennsylvania where police had been preparing for active shooters with local schools. Police are not able to wait the twenty minutes to an hour for SWAT to arrive at a scene which is why the state mandated that local police receive active shooting training (Coughlin, 2012). This response and a brochure that the Department of Homeland Security came out with are allowing schools a better chance of eliminating a shooter with less causalities and injuries. This brochure goes into to profile of an active shooter, how to respond to an active shooter, how to respond when law enforcement arrives, training staff for an active shooter, preparing for and managing an active shooter situation, recognizing workplace violence, managing the consequences of an active shooter, and lessons learned (DHS, 2008). Recommendations were made following the shooting to implement a command center with personnel able to take command at the beginning of a crisis, control assembled personnel, and to communicate objectives clearly (Erickson, 2001). This came after the failure of law enforcement to set up a successful command center whereas Fire and EMS successfully instituted an incident command center based on
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