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Active Shooter Preparedness

Neighborhood Notes
June 9, 2021

Active Shooters: are Alive and Well! Who will protect me until the Police get to an event??


Do you know what happens when you are faced with an “Active Shooter”?  Does someone magically call 911!?  Do the police instantly arrive and resolve the issue!?  Do you faint!?  Do you start screaming at the top of your lungs and bring attention to yourself!? Do you recognize that you have a very few seconds to develop a plan that could be the difference between your life or death!?

Think about what has to happen before the police can arrive to protect/defend you.  There are two-time clocks that will be running during this time, the event clock starts with the event and the police response clock begins when the “911” dispatcher informs the responding unit of your need.

This is a List of actions that will need to occur.  There may be fewer or more depending on the situation at the event time.  However, this is a reasonable list during which the event clock will be running continually.

  1. Event begins, danger is present (event clock is ticking)
  2. Seconds/minutes transpire and the police have not yet been notified, (event clock is ticking)
  3.  You or someone involved in this event finds/reaches a phone to call “911”.  Police have still not been notified and of your (event clock is ticking).
  4. “911” is called, they answer, they ascertain that immediate police support is needed, and they locate the closest unit to your event site.  The police unit that will support your needs has still not been notified and the (event clock is ticking).
  5. “911” operator identifies the response unit and dispatches them to the location.  The Event Clock is Ticking and the police response clock starts now.
  6. Police unit expeditiously travels to the event location, both clocks running with different lapse times.

Fortunately, Cobb County is blessed with one of the best Public Safety Organizations in the country but they are not clairvoyant to know where to be. Typical response times are very difficult to estimate due to wide variances in variables.  However, remember the police response clock time begins when Public Safety is contacted (usually by 911) and a response unit is assigned to your event.  Your event “clock time” begins the second the presence of an “Active Shooter” is discovered.  It can be few to many minutes before the dispatched police can arrive at your event site.  The average time is difficult to estimate due to the many variables that come into play before an officer can arrive at your event site.  However, even a very short response time is going to feel like a long time to you!

The ONLY IMPORTANT thing to remember if you become confronted with an “Active Shooter” situation is the reality that you are on your own until the Police arrive.  Fortunately, the FBI, several police departments, and private companies have developed some great training videos that incorporate the three main defenses you have:

 Run , Hide, Fight  (Video for reference below)

  1. RUN: if practical and safe
  2. Hide:  If you cannot RUN, then HIDE where the shooter cannot see you
  3. Fight:  If #1 and #2 are not going to work, then your only option is to defend yourself

 Fight should always be YOUR LAST resort but it is better than waiting for a bad outcome to happen to you!