The traditional advice given to unarmed security officers who encounter active killer, active shooter or active assailant incidents has been to get out and let armed officers handle it.
Unfortunately, this approach ignores the fact that security personnel, armed or unarmed, are likely to be among the first targets in an attack. In addition, it results in poor resource management and reduced ability to manage a complex incident.
However, security professionals can be a tremendous asset during an active killer incident when they perform the right roles. Numerous incidents have already shown that security officers might be able to stop an attack, even when unarmed, before police officers can get on scene.
Here are eleven roles they can perform during these incidents.
- Protect Self
- Warn and Direct
- Monitor and Communicate
- Help Injured/Trapped
- Provide Information for Investigations
- Liaison with Police
- High Visibility
- Traffic Control
- Rescue Teams
- Security Sweeps
- Incident Command
Stephen Lopez is the Chief of Police at New Mexico State University. He has been in law enforcement for 29 years, and holds bachelor degrees in criminal justice and psychology, a masters in strategic planning for critical infrastructure, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
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