Key Technologies for Active Shooter Response and How They Can Work Together
United States Department of Homeland Security states the definition of an active shooter as “an individual involved in killing to trying to kill people in a populated area”. Past experiences have shown no particular pattern or method in committing the act. Most of these incidents in the past have taken place in populated areas such as malls or highly occupied tourist attractions.
Because of the frequency of the people present at the location, the shooter either surrenders or is neutralized by the police. In some cases, the shooter commits suicide as well. A common example of this type of attack is a suicide bombing.
During recent years, incidents such as these have immensely increased throughout the world. Apart from the terrorist inflicted countries, these incidents have also taken place in countries like the United States of America, the United Kingdom as well as France and many other big nations all over the globe.
Preparing for such attacks in advance can be an increasingly tough challenge. Even though these events have a low percentage-probability of happening, they do take place every now and then because of extremists all over the world.
Moreover, in case of such an event, improper handling too can have devastating effects. Not only do these events caused a heavy death toll, but it can also decrease the reputation of the business. People stay frightened from coming back to that particular location. Some other negative effects include loss of a company’s culture, overall values as well as an individual’s career.
A study in 2014 done by the United States Department of Homeland Security documented a total of 160 active shooter incidents. From 2000 to 2013, a total of 1043 casualties were recorded. If we look at these statistics, we can analyze that most of these incidents have taken place in highly populated businesses and malls.
The breakdown of these events, as stated in the same study, are given below:
- Businesses and Malls (46 percent)
- Schools (24 percent)
- Government (10 percent)
- House of Worship (4 percent)
- Health Care Facilities (3 percent)
- Others (13 percent)
The Initial Phase
The biggest challenge in an active shooter case is to wait for the event to happen. It means that security teams can not detect the presence of an armed criminal in a highly populated site.
Moreover, it is also difficult for people to report once such a criminal act is initiated. The reason for this is that people need to protect themselves from the shooter, hide, take cover and fight on an immediate basis for survival.