FBI Atlanta Hosts Active Shooter Conference in Augusta
|FBI Atlanta October 26, 2013|
ATLANTA—On October 24-25, 2013, the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office, in conjunction with the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University’s (GRU) Center of Operational Medicine, hosted a two-day conference at GRU’s Augusta, Georgia facility to discuss best practices and services available during an active shooter response.
In attendance were approximately 200 law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) leaders, as well as various school administrators and staff from the surrounding metro areas, all gathered to discuss best practices and lessons learned from various critical incident responses. At the conclusion of the two-day conference, a tabletop exercise was held on October 25, 2013 to allow for a simulated scenario to unfold in which key leadership in attendance were able to discuss response strategy, to include services needed and anticipated challenges or potential obstacles.
As background for this training, on January 12, 2013, new federal legislation (the Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012) was signed as part of a response to recent tragic events, to include the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. This legislation authorizes certain federal agencies, to include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to provide assistance in responding to those violent acts and shootings that occur in a place of public as well as critical incidents considered mass killings and/or attempted mass killings.
In furtherance of this federal response, the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI were assigned to facilitate law enforcement training regarding active shooter scenarios. This includes tactical training for first responder law enforcement officers provided through the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT), developed by the state of Texas. The ALERRT training, which is already underway, has been expanded by training additional FBI special agent tactical instructors who will, in turn, provide the much needed tactical training to surrounding local and state law enforcement agencies.
In addition to the ALERRT training, all 56 FBI field offices throughout the country were tasked to host a two-day conference for law enforcement executive management, to include fire and EMS leadership, to discuss best practices and lessons learned regarding mass shooting incidents, as well as to explain those federal and state resources and services available during such a response. The conference, which includes topics such as pre-event behavioral indicators of a mass shooter, evidence collection, management of a complex crime scene, crisis management, media management, and victim assistance matters, is designed to prepare the agency leadership for a critical incident response that often requires a unified response from numerous surrounding agencies and service providers.
This was the third such conference this year as FBI Atlanta continues to assist law enforcement, fire, and EMS leadership and personnel throughout the State of Georgia in maintaining an increased readiness in responding to critical incidents such as an active shooter in a unified manner.