Law Enforcement Technology

JUN 2019

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Why a Variety of Rally Points Matters Amid the chaos of an incident, appropriate management and planning is vital. Knowing your options can be key to keeping everyone on scene safer. A s an active duty police officer and as a member of the media, I've always been aware of the fact that if I'm responding to an active shooter event, where I respond is going to be differ- ent. If I'm in uniform, armored up, armed and equipped, I'm respond- ing straight to the incident location expecting to be put to work. If I'm in everyday clothing and not part of the emergency response team, I'm going to the location specified for media representatives to be briefed. Those are not the only two options though, and any command level officer responding to or in charge of manag- ing the situation had better not only be aware of the options but ensure they are covering them all. First, expect that any responding officers, on or off duty, are coming to be part of the emergency response team, and fully expecting to be making entry to go find and neutralize the shooter(s). If you have enough officers on scene to set up any kind of perimeter then you also have enough to direct incoming officers to a rally point. Whether those officers are volunteers from other agen- cies, off-duty officers from your own agency or other self-dispatched officers, you need a centralized location they can be directed to and a command level officer at that location to effectively sign them in, verify their credentials and assign them tasks. Media Almost any active shooter event at an educational institution, or one with a sufficiently large number of casualties, or one that is on-going just long enough for media representatives to arrive, will garner national attention. A location that is reasonably easy to find, not terribly far from the incident site, but sufficiently spaced away so that it's not within a direct line of sight (even using magnify- ing optics) is required. A coordinator for your agency, whether it's a press infor- mation officer, the lowest ranked deputy you have, or simply someone you assign that can direct people to a given place is also required. Politicians If an incident occurs and you have media responding, politicians are going to be right behind. W hile you could simply direct politicians to the media rally point, you would be well advised to direct them to a different location, but one that isn't far from the media location. You'll want to put them somewhere they can get a special briefing€even if you're not telling them anything different from what you're telling everyone else. After you've given them that you're going to need to coordinate where and when they get in front of the media's cameras. A simple and efficient way to work this is to assemble the politicians in a location adjacent to the media rally point and then, as you brief them, make a list of those who want camera time. You can let them work out who goes first or you can decide and assign them slots. Doing the latter leaves you in the position of earning their dislike if they feel slighted. That said, most are fairly reasonable and understand the pecking order they are in. 4 OFFICER MEDIA GROUP | ACTIVE SHOOTER RESPONSE 2019 iStock Active Shooter RESPONSE

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