- Shaping and Adapting: Using the Environment (The Last Hundred Yards) To Unlock the Power of Colonel John Boyd’s OODA Loop
- Informative Fair and Impartial Podcast: Do the legal rules for using deadly force, still make sense?
- Crisis Intervention Teams & Police Interactions with People with Mental Illness: Evolving Tactics That Make a Difference
- How Does The Last Hundred Yards, Enhance Tactical Responses to Crises?
- Complacency and False Sense of Urgency: Why We Fail to Take Advantage of The Last Hundred Yards?
- The Last Hundred Yards: Operate On Blind Luck or Win Consistently?
- My Good Friend Coach Kevin Kearns talks with 5th & 6th graders about Vision
- Keeping The Peace in a Free Society Let Us Not Forget Why We Do What We Do
- How Do We Better Assess and Grade Decision Making and Adaptability in Those We Train?
- Types of Cases
- Report: Deadly Calls And Fatal Encounters
- Developing Individuals with the Ability to Work Together Solving Real World Problems
- Five-Year Study of Police Officer Deaths: RoboCops or Guardians?
- The role of humility in the Socratic method by Bruce Ivar Gudmundsson
- Keeping the Peace
- Experiential Learning Defined
- How We Learn Versus How We Think We Learn
- Reducing Violence is About Not Grabbing a Gun
- Boston PD & Boston Red Sox: Full Scale Complex Operating Environment Training Exercise
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- Sound of Silence A Tribute to Policing and All Those Who Serve The Homeland
- Problem-Oriented Policing: Where Social Work Meets Law Enforcement
- Thoughts on Policing a Free Society: Altering Public Expectations
- Thoughts on Policing a Free Society: Rethinking Widely Held Assumptions Regarding Police Fuction
- Thoughts on Policing a Free Society: Our Failure to Concern Ourselves...
- Thoughts on Policing a Free Society
- Simon Sinek: Why Leaders Eat Last
- 8 Tips to Keep Your Home Wireless Network Secure From Hackers: a guest post from Wichly Cazeau
- John Boyd's Patterns of Conflict Part 3
- Engaging The Community and Making Meaningful and Lasting Change
- The Pre-Class Preparation Pyramid By Bruce Ivar Gudmundsson
- We All Lose When it's Us Verses Them!
- Facilatating The Adaptive Leader Program at The Army ROTC Leadership Conference at Harvard University
- A Break It Down Show Pod Cast: Paying Criminal Not to Commit Crimes or is There Something More to The Story?
- Harvard ROTC Leadership Conference
- A Discourse on Policing a Free Society
- We Made the Mandatory Reading for the US Army MPs
- Patterns of Conflict Pt 2
- Hand in Hand Project, a new initiative promoting dialogue and interaction between local police officers and young people
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- Why Adaptability Trumps Hierarchy?
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- In Building Trust, Actions…Speak Louder Than Words!
- Somewhere Along the Way
- Taking It Personally
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- Boyd: Adapting Isn't Good Enough
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- The Hunting Story - the meaning of human equality
- Ethical Warriors with Jack Hoban
- Emotional Intelligence: Re-Thinking Police Community Relations by Mark Bond
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- Staying in control when a suspect is aggressive
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- The importance of mindset in policing with Chip Huth
- A Discussion on Police Work and How to Win At Low Cost, Connecting The People and Police Gap
- Be Passionate, Back Up and Empower Your People, and You Will Get The Culture Right
- Why Are Shared Visions So Important?
- Technical Skill as a Component of Creativity by Bruce I. Gudmundsson
- I Am Spartacus…No I Am Spartacus: Is Your Police Organization United?
- The Demand For Autodidacts – The Self-Taught in an Age of Shrinking Budgets by Patrick Van Horne
- It’s How You Say What You Saw by Patrick Van Horne
- The Path of Don Vandergriff: A Discussion On Leadership, Learning organizations and Adaptability
- The Newhall Incident: Failure, Adaptation and Success…Or Lost Opportunity? Published in the latest ITOA News
- NYPD’s New Strategy for Dealing with Stressful Interactions, Absurd or Realistic?
- The Mind Can Be Convinced But The Heart Must Be Won
- Imagine a Police Culture Where People Wake Up Every Day Inspired to Go to Work
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- The Blame Game: Who @#$%ed This Up?
- Breaking Down the Stranglehold of Formality
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- Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar
- The Case Method Increasing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Marine Education by Captain Paul Tremblay Jr USMC
- Simon Sinek: If You Don't Understand People, You Don't Understand...
- Using Official Histories as Quarries for Case Materials By Bruce I. Gudmundsson
- Left of Bang By Patrick Van Horne and Jason Riley
- The Most Dangerous Weapon in Law Enforcement by Brian Willis
- Sizing Up Situations Is A Skill, We Need To Develop
- Change the Culture If I could Only Change One Thing by Don Vandergriff
- The Five Learning Disciplines
- Using Complete Stories in Decision Forcing Cases by Dr. Bruce I. Gudmundsson
- Newhall Shooting: A Tactical Analysis
- Tactical Decision Games, Obscure Information and Generating New Ways to Thrive in the Climate of Chaos and Uncertainty
- Calling on Cops in Class: An Anecdote for Developing Character, Confidence and Sound Tactical Decision Makers
- Solving Tactical Dilemmas with Indirect Experience (Education & Training) and White Castle Cases
- Ugly Police Force: Misunderstandings of Law & Human Factors by Lou Hayes
- Design and Facilitate, Decision Making Exercises Using The Sandwich Metaphor
- Strategic Rifleman: Key to More Moral Warfare by H. John Poole
- Developing Teamwork, Leadership Skills and Decision Makers with Case Study's "Washington's Crossing"
- FBI Report: A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States
- The Art of Manliness Discusses...The Tao of Boyd: How to Master the OODA Loop
- Courage: The Backbone of Leadership by Gus Lee
- A Police Officers thoughts on the “Militarization” of our police forces.
- Cops With War Toys: Militarizing police is the worst way to fight crime.
- “Just the facts Ma’am”
- Adaptive Leadership...Re-Imagine the Way We Lead!
- A Milestone in Boydian Theory at the Tactical Level
- CASE STUDY: Ferguson Missouri shooting incident and aftermath by Louis Hayes
- What is Leadership?
- Use of Force Investigations: a Manual for Law Enforcement
- Do You Know How to Get Fullfillment?
- How Great Leaders Inspire Action
- Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't
- Adaptive Leadership Handbook, Reviewed [by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"]
- Have We Not Learned Anything From History? Don Vandergriff's Book Review on American Spartan
- How Do We Inspire Action?
- Book Review: Rubicon: The Poetry of War
- Book Review: American Spartan
- Command Culture: Officer Education in the U.S. Army and the German Armed Forces, 1901-1940, and the Consequences for WWII
- What are the Basics? Developing for Mission Command by Donald E. Vandergriff
- IN COMMAND AND OUT OF CONTROL
- Adaptive Leadership By Charles “Sid” Heal and John R. Engbeck
- Why good leaders make you feel safe
- Guardians vs. Warriors: What it Takes to Win at Low Cost
- After Action Review on The Christopher Dorner Incident
- Adaptive Leader Program
- Crisis Meta-Leadership Lessons From the Boston Marathon Bombings Response: The Ingenuity of Swarm Intelligence
- Outstanding piece! The Myth of Mission Command by Don Vandergriff
- Cops or Soldiers?
- Situational Assessments: Being Mindful of What’s Important Now!
- Convinced or Committed?
- Discipline: The Lost Art of Leadership
- How Do We Develop Adaptability?
- Improve the Work…Develop the People
- Incident Strategy and Tactics: The Baby Diaper Analogy
- Adaptive Leaders …Develop Strength of Character
- How About Some Empathy, Please?
- Get Into the Sandbox, Think and Play and Let’s Inspire… Adaptability
- Stoning The Gatekeepers: Is It Not Time Society Attempts To Better Understand Police Use of Force?
- First-Line Supervisors Do The Most Important Training
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- Why Does Understanding The OODA Loop Matter to Cops?
- How Do You Develop Strength of Character and Adaptive Leaders?
- Adaptive Leadership Handbook: Innovative Ways to Teach and Develop Your People
- Don’t Fear Failure; Instead Make Failure Your Classroom
- In Forging Adaptability…Distinguish Technical Problems from Adaptive Challenges
- The Doctor in SWAT School (and What His Performance Says About Police Culture)
- Designing Law Enforcement: Adaptive Strategies for the Complex Environment by John A. Bertetto
- Guest Post: Toward a Police Ethos: Defining Our Values as a Call to Action by John Bertetto
- Adaptability is Key in Handling Crisis Situations…Be In Command and Out Of Control
- For Meaningful Lasting Results, Get Into the Weeds…and Identify Root Causes
- Want to get better and be safer? Debrief!
- How to Forge Adaptability in Police Leaders and Culture
- Adaptive Leadership is Purposeful Learning in Real Time
- Book Review: The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and The World
- Growing Leaders Who Practice Mission Command and Win the Peace, Lt. Col. Douglas A. Pryer, U.S. Army
- Achieving Greatness by Giving Control and Creating Leaders
- Choosing Adaptability by Gary Gagliardi and The Science of Strategy Institute
- The Review of Boyd & Beyond 2013…..
- Have You Thought About Why You Choose To Lead?
- Incident Command: the big picture by Louis Hayes
- Understanding the OODA Loop by Derek Stephens
- The Cops Amaze Me by Bob Lonsberry
- I Am An Optimist. It Does Not Seem Too Much Use Being Anything Else!
- Mike Rayburn Asks...What Makes A Good Street Cop?
- Fighting the good fight with moral clarity by Lt. Dan Marcou
- Are Gated Communities Really Secure?
- Top 25 Criminal Justice Blogs We made the list at # 3
- Incident Command: the team cohesion aspect of the SitRep
- Book Review: Always Picked Last: Conquering the Bullies: A Guide To Finding Your Way in Life…
- To Continuously Improve We Must Set Boundaries and Expectations
- Elite Performance...Takes WORK? Say it ain't so!
- Create Your Fantasy Island Organizational Culture by Tracey Richardson
- Have You Stopped a Car Today? Improving Patrols Tactical Effectiveness with Vehicle Stops
- Incident Command: Communicating the Situation and Location By Louis Hayes
- Incident Command: a problem-solving approach By Louis Hayes
- SWAT Cop Says American Neighborhoods Are 'Battlefields,' Claims Cops Face Same Dangers As Soldiers In Afghanistan
- Overmilitarization: Why Law Enforcement Needs to Scale Down Its Use of Military Hardware and Tactics By Evan Bernick
- John Boyd’s Art of War Why our greatest military theorist only made colonel. By William S. Lind
- Police militarization and rise of the warrior journalist by Lance Eldridge
- Strategic Studies Institute: Cartel Car Bombings in Mexico Authored by Dr. Robert J. Bunker, Mr. John P. Sullivan
- To Strengthen And Preserve Cohesion Your Values...Equal Their Values
- Another Must Read Book From Don Vandergriff: "The Path To Victory" Revised Kindle Version with a new foreword
- Safe Streets, Overruled By Heather McDonald of the City Journal
- Must Read Book On Leader Development, Updated Kindle Addition: Don Vandergriff's, Raising The Bar:
- Brian Willis Offers Great Info on Defeating...The Enemy Of Innovation
- Police militarization and the Ethical Warrior By Jack E. Hoban & Bruce J. Gourlie
- “A Way” To Develop a Toxic Leader: How We as Leaders Create Our Own Monsters
- The Guy Behind the Guy, Behind the Guy: A Case for Taking our Roles More Seriously
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- To effectively function in the initial, chaotic stages of a crisis, develop adaptive leaders
- FEAR VS COURAGE: IT'S YOUR CHOICE By Danny Cox
- Skid Row Terrorist
- Col John Boyd: Question and Answer Video
- Great Piece on Adaptability by Brian Willis: The Dinosaur versus The Cockroach Training Model
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- The Missing Piece of NIMS: Teaching Incident Commanders How to Function in the Edge of Chaos by Police Chief, Cynthia Renaud
- The Human Problem? by Frank Borelli an Officer.com article
- From Police One 3 techniques for controlling your brain with Chief Joel F. Shults, Ed.D.
- Great Article From Police One with Val Van Brocklin: How to create 'fierce followers' in law enforcement
- Deadly Force: Have We Lost Our Senses? Guest Post by Louis Hayes
- Tactical Philosophy 101 A Guest Post by Louis Hayes
- Leadership in Unconventional Crises
- Unconventional Crises, Unconventional Responses: Reforming Leadership in the Age of Catastrophic Crises and “Hyper complexity”
- JOHN BOYD WAS A PATRIOT, A MORAL LEADER, AND A BONAFIDE VISIONARY. AND YES, HE WAS A MAVERICK.
- Force Science Research Study: The Influence of Officer Positioning on Movement During a Threatening Traffic Stop Scenario
- Guest Post: Adaptive Decision-Making by Sid Heal
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- Learning Like an Expert: A Guest Post by Marshall Wallace
- What Represents a High Level of Professionalism?
- This Memorial Day Remember: The Path of The Warrior
- School Security: Sharing and Enhancing Best Practices
- Guest Post by Michael G. Moore: Boyd's Snowmobile ...or what made Alexander “The Great”
- Coffee Pots and Baseball Bats: Household Items Offer Protection
- Learning to Adapt With A Professional Reading Program
- Boyd and Beyond 2013
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- What Do OODA Loop’s Mean to the Street Cop, Wanting To Become “World Class” Tacticians?
- The Psychology of a Boston Marathon Terrorist: 10 Questions for a Retired Marine
- Watching Boston “Work Together” Made Me Proud to Be a Police Officer
- What Makes a "World Class" Tactically Proficient Peacekeeper?
- Tactical Decision Games to Increase Speed and Maturity of Problem Solving: The Lessons Learned
- The Path to Better Execution in Seeing, Understanding and Solving Complex Problems is a Learning Organization
- A Systemic Concept for Operational Design: a Robust Tool Law Enforcement Should Use in Preparing for Chaotic Crisis
- How shift debriefings can improve officer safety Published at P1
- Boyd and Beyond Boston 2013: Balancing Pursuasion and Force in The Moral, Mental and Physical Dimensions of Conflict
- Don Vandergriff, Discusses: Misinterpretation and Confusion: What is Mission Command?
- Huddling-Up To Acheive Successful Law Enforcement Outcomes
- Building Cohesive Law Enforcement Agencies That Can Decide In Crisis Situations
- Mistakes ultimately ended ex-LA cop's rampage
- Red Teaming The Workplace Violence Shooter and The "MR. Uncomfortable Factor"
- Top 30 Criminal Justice Blogs of 2012 : LESC is Number 5!
- Showing Up Is Overrated. Necessary But Not Nearly Sufficient. Can Taking An "Interest" In What You Do Enhance Performance?
- Handling Dynamic Encounters...Go Get Him, Or Set Him Up To Get Him...With An Adaptable Response
- Shift Debriefings: How Can We Be More Deliberate, More Disciplined, and More Thorough in our Approach to Learning?
- AOW Card Deck Lesson 6: Provoke Your Adversary’s Reaction
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- Police One Column: 13 questions to answer in 2013: What has 2012 taught you about officer safety and effectiveness?
- Take Small Steps, Towards, Lifelong Learning In 2013
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- AOW Card Deck Lesson 5: Sheath Your Sword
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- In Mastering Tactics Shouldn’t We Be Blending Policy and Procedures with People and Ideas?
- Ready, Aim, Ready?
- IMPLEMENTATION (OODA LOOP OR BOYD’S CYCLE) by Sid Heal
- AOW Card Deck Lesson 3: Engage Your Adversary From Many Directions
- AOW Card Deck Lesson 2: Lure The Tiger Out Of The Mountain
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- "Certain men…come to be accepted guardians and transmitters, instructors, of established doctrines...
- On Vision
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- Restoring the Wounded Spirit
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- Captain Lindsay Rodman On Boyd and Taking Ownership of What You Do!
- William McNulty-Team Rubicon: Boyd, Applied to Disaster Response
- Heroes Behind the Badge
- Chet Richards On Boyd...Is Your Orientation, Matched to Reality?
- Col GI Wilson on Boyd, Bureaucracy, Insight, Imagination, Intent and Implementation
- What hath Boyd wrought? With Remarks
- John Boyd, Conceptual Spiral, and the meaning of life
- Boyd and Beyond 2012, Quantico, VA — a quickie recap by Scott Shipman
- Finished Gung Ho! The Corps Most Progressive Tradition
- Dangerous Minds – The Relationship between Beliefs, Behaviors, and Tactics
- Guest Post: Super Cops - Can we create them??? “Yes you can!”
- "The importance of a proper command system...
- "Leaders gain confidence and become more tactically and technically proficient...
- Help staff practice thinking on their feet to prepare for emergencies
- More On, Gung Ho! Out of Seeming Defeat May Have Sprung Great Potential
- Latest P1 Column: The anatomy of victory (part two): Victory at minimal cost
- Chapter 1 Review of "Gung Ho! The Corps' Most Progressive Tradition
- The anatomy of victory (part one): What does it take to win?
- Proper Police Action Requires...What?
- P1 Column: Patterns of behavior, officer safety, and 'the rule of opposites'
- Be agile and win:
- Why Boyd is Agile
- Destruction & Creation: Are You Locked on One Way of Thinking or Are You Adaptable, Approaching Tactical Dilemmas?
- Book Review: Deadly Force: Firearms and American Law Enforcement, from the Wild West to the Streets of Today
- The power of a handshake!
- Winning at Low Cost: No better friend, no better role model, no better diplomat and, no worse enemy
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- Book Review: Police Instructor: Deliver Dynamic Presentations, Create Engaging Slides & Increase Active Learning
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- Column at Police One: Mental toughness and the power to adapt
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- A Video Biography of COL John Boyd
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Evolution of Strategy and Tactics to Ongoing Deadly Action "Active Shootings" and Operational Art
Submitted by Fred on Sat, 01/23/2010 - 8:40am.
An active shooter is defined as "... an armed person who has used deadly physical force on other persons and continues to do so while having unrestricted access to additional victims.
The vision most law enforcement officers have when it comes to an active shooter is one or two people with guns moving through a building, randomly shooting anyone in their path. Active shootings are often thought of as taking place in a public place, such as a school where kids attend.
Westside Middle School, Thurston High School, Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, the Amish school house in Pennsylvania and many other schools, universities and campuses have been victims of an active shooting incident. The fact that many of the offenders are children themselves, combined with intense media attention, cements the idea that active shooters take out their rage on schools.
Unconventional Methods of Attack
The fact is that an active shootings can take place in any environment—in the streets, as in the case of gang related violence or cornered criminals in an effort to gain the advantage; at the workplace, often by a disgruntled employee; at a shopping mall, perhaps by a kid who lost his girlfriend or job,; even in nursing homes, hospitals and neighborhoods.
We are witness to a worldwide evolving threat from highly trained active shooters. Terrorists have used small arms and small unit swarming tactics at luxury hotels, restaurants, train stations, community centers, cinemas, police headquarters and other public locations. Recent examples include the coordinated attacks in Mumbai, India and the premeditated shootings at Fort Hood, Texas and the gangs and narco-terrorists on the Mexican border.
The North Hollywood shooting in 1997 is yet another example of a conventional crime turned unconventional, when an armed confrontation between two heavily-armed bank robbers and the LAPD. It started when the robbers were engaged while leaving the bank they just robbed by LAPD patrol officers.
Some had a difficult time describing the Beslan Russia school siege and massacre in 2004. It was a siege, a hostage situation, a terrorist act and an active shooting situation. It is also underscored how an adversary can use a combination of tactics in an effort to disrupt our response and delay our actions.
How should we handle adversaries who use small arms, small unit tactics and multiple techniques converging on multiple targets from numerous directions in a single incident? The answer lies in our dedication and discipline to prepare and train for these incidents.
It is imperative that we use our capabilities to the fullest: awareness, strength of character, information and intelligence gathering, decision making abilities and tactical skills are essential to successfully combating any active shooting situation. It is critical that we penetrate the decision making cycle of an adversary to soften his resolve, disorient his mental images, disrupt his operations, and overload his system so he either stops his actions and complies or is disrupted by the terms of law enforcement.
An active shooting can a take place any where, any time. And the types of active shooters vary greatly in their levels of sophistication, planning, preparation and training and their commitment. In a study conducted by the law enforcement training company Hard Tactics researcher William Barchers, concluded that; the faster a shooter is confronted, the higher the probability of event resolution with minimum loss of life. The group studied 40 active shooting incidents. Seventeen incidents were resolved by the shooters themselves, with the shooter ceasing his attack and committing suicide, or attempting to do so. In at least three cases, the shooters ceased their attacks when verbally confronted by someone they knew. In the remaining cases, the shooters were overcome by physical confrontation by the intended victims.
One of the most important facts to emerge from this study was that of the forty studied incidents, only six were resolved by police. We must continually learn-unlearn and relearn from past incidents and then adapt the science and art of tactics to the unfolding circumstances.
Time and Failure to Adapt… the first enemies of law enforcement
Time is often the enemy of law enforcements in the case of an active shooting because initially the shooter dictates the tempo. Most active shootings begin and end in 8 minutes. The Mumbai terrorist attack carried out by 10 men in 5, 2 man teams lasted over 60 hours and left 195 people dead and 295 wounded.
Because of this fact we in law enforcement must not only focus on the standard training, diamond and T-Y formations and moving towards the guns. We must employ superior situational awareness to read the scene, recognize the pattern of what’s going on and channel our ability to think on our feet. The elements of a strategic and tactical mindset include observing our environment; orienting to climate of the situation; making good sound implicit decisions; and taking action to solve the problem. We solve the problem by applying what we know to the situation at hand, known as ‘operational art’.
Following the Columbine incident and criticisms of the law enforcement response in that case, many learned that “setting up a perimeter and waiting for SWAT to arrive,” while deadly action is taking place, is unsound strategically and tactically. The lessons learned here and from many other incidents have reshaped law enforcements thoughts on proper strategy and tactics in handling violent ongoing deadly actions.
Most in law enforcement could tell you exactly what’s expected of them when responding to an active shooting situation. Go to the location of ongoing deadly action, wait shortly for back-up 1, 2 or 3 other officers form a diamond or T-Y formation and then march to the sounds of the guns and stop the ongoing threat. If there is shooting going on, keep moving towards the sound of the guns, engage the threat and stop it. There are documented cases where this tactic has worked well in resolving conventional active shooter situation and are viable tactics under the right conditions. Those conditions being, one or two people, not highly trained, armed and actively engaged in shooting innocent people. Our training in the conventional active shooting response can and does work with these conditions present.
The traditional 4 man diamond formation, which most in law enforcement have trained in, has been adapted due to the time/risk factor and the numbers killed in these tragic incidents. The 3 man (T –Y formations), 2 man and even 1 man entries are used to engage the conventional active shooter. There is often no time to wait for SWAT and patrol officers must respond. Oftentimes we have to adapt standard tactics (science) with know how (art) to be effective in stopping these threats.
This means each cop on the street or patrolling a city, town, university or campus, a security officer on a post or military personnel defending the country abroad must possess more knowledge in understanding conflict and its resolution and the mastery of individual and small team skills to launch successful operations dealing with conflict and violence inherent in an active shooting situation. Applying this knowledge, connecting strategy and tactics, is operational art and is the often missing link in law enforcement responses.
Preparation for initiative driven tactical response
The first question that must be asked in deciding what type of response is necessary in the active shootings, law enforcement responds to, should be "is immediate dynamic action required?" If lives are in "imminent" jeopardy, then the answer is yes... If it is they are in danger and no imminent threat to life exists, then the option may be a non-dynamic scaled response.
Action must do two things: (1) further friendly strategy, or (2) attack enemy strategy. By attacking enemy strategy, victory can often be won before the battle starts.
Putting the friendly strategy in place allows us to "attack the enemy strategy" by containing him. His options are few, and time, in most cases is now on our side. The subject may simply see he has no options and give up, or impatience may put adversary in a disadvantageous position, we can exploit to gain advantage.
Reading the Scene
It’s crucial for the first responding officers to take up positions so that they get eyes on the objective in an effort to read the scene. The information they gather is critical and must be communicated to oncoming responders so that the initial tactical set up is in an area with the least amount of risk involved to responders. They should keep in mind not to only look at the scene from their perspective but from the adversaries as well. First responding efforts can be done quickly and should focus on:
- Reading and understanding the environment
- Reading and understanding the climate of the situation (What’s going on?)
- What tactics will work in the current situation? (use insight and innovation)
· THIS IS TWO-WAY STREET “FRIENDLY & ADVERSARIAL” (both: Observe-Orient, Decide and Act)
Some have described and compared law enforcement encounters as either static or, dynamic. It’s my view that there is no such thing as a static law enforcement encounter. All encounters whether they progressively evolve over a longer period of time or erupt rapidly in a short period of time, without warning, circumstances surrounding law enforcement encounters are all dynamic. Time is moving forward, circumstances changing and the ability of responders to adapt to the ongoing circumstances is always critical.
In responding to dynamic encounters the protection of life is our priority, always. If the circumstances change and we are suddenly put into a spontaneous set of conditions where life is threatened then, dynamic responses are required. Action is now the critical component to seizing and maintaining the initiative. We must now set the tempo with fluid initiative driven action with our focus being to stop the ongoing threat. To do so we must know both the art and science of tactics and how to apply this knowledge to the unfolding conditions.
Tactical response and rescue teams
The team whether it consists of 1, 2, 3 or 4 men should be made up of tactically savvy people. Officers, who possess the 5% mindset, and know the tactical concepts to utilize and have been trained to an effective level, will be the most effective in using these tactics.
An understanding and ability to apply the tactical formations, such as the diamond formation, which is used to move to and from, or across danger areas or down hallways in schools and office buildings and consists of 4 people, the point man who focuses on the front, the right and left cover men, who focus on the right or the left, specific to their position and then the rear guard who focus on the rear. All communicate and engage threats in their area of responsibility.
The T-Y formation is commonly used with 3 members in the team. The T–Y formations are used for the same purpose as the diamond, rapid movement, good observation and ability to engage adversary. All formations offer their own strengths and weakness mostly centered on fields of fire and tactical movement and clearing rooms and intersections (T, L and cross) encountered in a building.
Two-man tactics are commonly used by law enforcement in active shootings. One officer and back up is the most prevalent tactical team in policing, although, movement of two men in a tactical way, is not consistently taught in law enforcement. This must change. In a two-man team, contact cover is done by both with each man being responsible for 180 degrees of their area. Again verbal and non-verbal communication is critical to ensure safety and effectiveness.
One-man entry is a controversial entry technique and it’s only used as a last resort in engaging ongoing deadly action. It’s obvious to see the disadvantages in going it alone in an active shooting situation although when the deadly action is taking place on the part of the adversary and the lone officer is positioned at an advantage the need to enter and take action may be the only way to stop the threat. It’s imperative that the lone officer be capable in his tactical ability to engage alone.
The focus of these formations is to enhance rapid movement to the threat and maintain security through collective observations. Keeping in mind where, you may individually and/or collectively have to move once the threat is engaged. The focus of effort is movement in these formations to get you in a position to effectively stop the threat.
As the numbers in the tactical response team gets smaller the work load becomes much more difficult as there are fewer eyes on the surroundings. It is important to adjust your pace as the situation and your manpower dictates. Speed is often times gained by positioning verses an over exaggerated sense of urgency. Keep this in mind.
Coordination and setup is an important consideration in room clearing and is facilitated by your team movement and proper approach and evaluation prior to the setup. Observation of doors, how they open and close? Is the door centered on the room or is it on the right or left side of the room? The answers to these questions dictate the technique you will use for entry. The goal is positioning to observe as much as you can before entering. In many instances before entering a room as much as 80% percent can be cleared visually before stepping off into a room. Utilize the various cornering techniques as the situation dictates. Team members are "Reading" each other, flexible and responsive to the dynamic of the situation. Superior situational awareness and timing is necessary!
Rescue teams are teams used as a follow on to rescue downed and injured victims. The tactical response team’s focus is on the threat and they do not stop for victims. Injured victims are the rescue team’s responsibility. There are a couple of different ways these teams are utilized. Some advocate waiting to send in rescue teams once the threat has been stopped. Others advocate soon after the tactical response teams enter and clear a section rescue teams are sent in as a follow on unit who actively rescue while the adversary is still active. In short it comes down to training and preparation. Is your rescue team, tactically trained? If so using as a follow on to rescue the injured while response team is actively engaged is a viable option. If EMS is not tactically trained then rescue should wait till the threat is stopped.
When we respond to a critical incident it’s important to quickly establish you are on location and have command and control. This allows others responding to know someone is present on scene and that you can communicate the situation, identify danger or kill zones and set up the perimeter in an effort to isolate and contain the situation. You must quickly put an adaptable plan together and communicate this plan, as well. This communication puts everyone involved on the same page and helps to bring order to the chaos.
Now when talking about tactical communication it’s important to understand that this does not mean we are constantly on the radio relaying our every move. This “over talking” on the radio or elsewhere causes more chaos and disorder. Remember our goal is to bring order to disorder, not add to it… What communication does mean is that you calmly; clearly and concisely relay critical information in a timely manner. Your every thought does not need to be coming over the radio! I know it’s somewhat human nature under stress, to want everyone to know everything, but resist the urge and just communicate what’s critical. 
Responding units should stay off the radio and allow the person on scene and in the best position to relay critical information. Most communication at a active shooting, should be bottom-up. The frontline is in a position to make observations, direct others and take action. Command should trust their responding personnel and be on the listening end of communication and support frontline units. If trained and prepared properly the frontline will relay critical information up the chain so command can organize needed resources. Remember, climate is contagious; panic leads to more panic, as calm leads to more calm. Adapt to the situation; do not let the situation adapt to you.
Time for “Unconventional Tactics”
Law enforcement actions must evolve as well if we are to first detect and prevent these actions from taking place. When despite or efforts a violent ongoing deadly act does unfold we must be capable of dealing with it successfully by “penetrating our adversary’s moral-mental-physical being to dissolve his moral fiber, disorient his mental images, disrupt his operations, and overload his system—as well as subvert, shatter, seize, or otherwise subdue those moral-mental-physical bastions, connections, or activities that he depends upon—in order to destroy internal harmony, produce paralysis, and collapse adversary’s will to resist.”  This requires insight, innovation and initiative and law enforcement using unconventional strategy and tactics as our adversaries have. Conflict is a clash between two complex adaptive systems. Who wins? He who adapts faster.
Our goal in responding to ongoing deadly action is to first and foremost to protect life. We do this through superior situational awareness which enhances or understanding of the environment and what's going on, so we can interact , adapt and position ourselves at the advantage, apply various tactics that work in stopping the threat and in protecting the innocent lives in jeopardy, which is the goal of our strategy.
 (Wikipedia, 2009)
 (Barchers, 2010)
 (Jr, 2008)
 (Borsch, 2008)
 (Jr., 2008)
 (Boyd, December 1986)