FBI Atlanta, Savannah Resident Agency Provides Active Shooter Training and Support to Local Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Command Staff
On May 13, 2014, the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office, Savannah Resident Agency hosted a two-day conference at Armstrong State University, Savannah, Georgia, to discuss best practices and services available during an active shooter response. In attendance were over 200 law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) leaders from various local, state, and other federal law enforcement and emergency services agencies, all gathered to discuss best practices and lessons learned from various critical incident responses. At the conclusion of the two-day conference, a table top exercise was held on May 14, 2014, 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 titled 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 emergency medical services (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.
FBI Atlanta has hosted similar such conferences throughout the state of Georgia in its efforts to assist law enforcement, fire, and EMS leadership and personnel in maintaining an increased readiness in responding to critical incidents such as an active shooter in a unified manner.