I understand that I have a lot of expertise to offer, but I also understand that like me, my expertise has aged (like fine wine).
Nevertheless, there has been an evolution of sorts since 1980 when I graduated from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Academy, that is coming around somewhat full circle. Before we hop in the time machine, let’s talk about Sergeant Justin Coker of the Nashville Police department.
Coker was placed in charge of training Nashville patrol officers how respond to active shooter calls. This started around 2011-12 or so. Since that time we had the devastating situation in Uvalde that personally I discounted at first because I simply could not reconcile that an incident commander would apply the brakes to responding officers and that they would allow him to do so. (More on this in a moment).
In short, Coker would work with numerous agencies to develop active shooting responses, which went into high gear because of Uvalde and a couple of other less than satisfactory police responses.
The result was the stellar response wherein the MNPD officers neutralized the Covenant Church School Shooter in less than 14 minutes from the time she walked in the door and started shooting. There is no way of knowing just how many more victims there would have been had these first responding cops not asserted themselves as they did.
How did this go down so much better than Uvalde? I will explain this by explaining the circling back of response tactics. Meanwhile, Coker and his associates around the country have developed a group called ALERTT. Besides their developing training for cops, they are also training civilians how to respond as well. See attached clip;
BTW, if you are concealed carrying in an event like the above, remember every situation is different. In fact, just in the different parts of the warehouse depicted, circumstances were different. The ideal would be not to engage an active shooter until/unless you are in the “Defend” mode. But again, you are the one there, so you must make the final choice of action.
BTW, Sergeant Coker seems to prefer to refer to these situations as “Active Killer” events for a couple of reasons. 1) The killer may be killing with something other than a firearm, such as a knife or motor vehicle, And 2) The term killer sends the definitive message that each person who finds themself in such an event HAS THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES! This is regardless of what AOC and the Left are trying to say.
Now, here is the background of what has been happening over the last 40+ years; Back in the later 1970s, LAPD began developing SWAT Teams. Their progress was slow, as was the progress of other agencies around the USA. This was in spite of the 1972 debacle in Munich wherein the German Tactical Team botched the kidnapping and murder of all those Israeli Olympians.
While I was in the Academy in May of 1980, 5 heavily armed potheads robbed a bank in Norco, California. The subsequent rolling shootout changed policing forever. SWAT really got serious as a result.
Nevertheless, since most SWAT events involved barricaded suspects who were actively resisting arrest efforts, SWAT Teams began to pride themselves in Hostage Negotiations. The mindset of preferred peaceful endings was thereby planted.
This lessened the emphasis on the first responding officers taking control of a situation. But today’s situations are so much different starting with their irrational and mentally deranged perpetrators. Something had to change.
Almost 20 years later, 2 more bank robbers would change the course of policing yet again in 1997 when they exposed the serious lack of firepower provided patrol officers. Politics had prevented properly arming us even after all those years, and the Left is still hindering this.
Still, patrol officers are far better equipped than before, but there has remained a serious mindset issue. That being the aforementioned peaceful resolution by negotiation, and the mindset that an incident commander must be obeyed to all extents.
In my day, we were not taught this way. If a superior ordered us to do something illegal, immoral, or unsafe, we were trained to do the right thing and sort it out later. That didn’t happen in Uvalde because those officers were not given that leeway.
So fast forward to Nashville. Those guys did not have to buck a bad supervisor. They did not have to wait for SWAT, or a Negotiator. They had upgraded weaponry, and they followed their building clearing tactics to quickly find and neutralize the killer. No officers were injured that I know of.
Yes, this is no country for old men, at least not equipment wise. But here’s to Coker and his associates for mixing the new equipment with the old mindset with heroic results, and gave those guys who climbed those stairs at the Covenant School with such laudable results.