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Homeland Security

Active Shooter Preparedness

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) aims to enhance preparedness through a ”whole community” approach by providing training, products, and resources to a broad range of stakeholders on issues such as active shooter awareness, incident response, and workplace violence. In many cases, there is no pattern or method to the selection of victims by an active shooter, and these situations are by their very nature are unpredictable and evolve quickly. DHS offers free courses, materials, and workshops to better prepare you to deal with an active shooter situation and to raise awareness of behaviors that represent pre-incident indicators and characteristics of active shooters.

On this page:

  • Active Shooter Resources for Law Enforcement and Trainers: The National Summit on Multiple casualty Shootings, Progress Report on the President’s Executive Actions to Help Reduce Gun Violence, The Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and Active Shooter Web Portal
  • Active Shooter Training Provided by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC)
  • Active Shooter: What You Can Do Course
  • Active Shooter Webinar
  • Active Shooter Workshop Series
  • Active Shooter: How to Respond Resource Materials
  • Options for Consideration Active Shooter Preparedness Video
  • Conducting Security Assessments: A Guide for Schools and Houses of Worship Webinar
  • U.S. Secret Service (USSS) Active Shooter Related Research

Active Shooter Resources for Law Enforcement and Trainers

  • The National Summit on Multiple Casualty Shootings was a joint effort of the FLETC, the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and the Johns Hopkins University. Subject matter experts from a wide range of disciplines, such as law enforcement, health care, law, social sciences, education, and academia came together in December 2012 to advance the national dialogue on preventing multiple casualty violence. The Report on the National Summit on Multiple Casualty Shootings contains eight recommendations, all centered on the need to create a strategic approach to information sharing in the prevention of multiple casualty violence. A follow-up summit occurred in April 2013 and a report on that event is forthcoming.

  • Progress Report on the President’s Executive Actions to Help Reduce Gun Violence: The Obama Administration released a progress report detailing the completion of our significant progress on 21 of the 23 executive actions President Obama laid out in January to help reduce gun violence, including fact sheets and guides to help develop high-quality emergency operations plans for K-12 schools, institutions of higher education and houses of worship.

  • The Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and Active Shooter Web Portal: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has launched a Countering Violent Extremism and Active Shooter (CVE-AS) Web Portal on the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN). The purpose is to provide videos and training resources, as well as a document library with information and resources, covering numerous CVE and AS topics. It provides a forum for the exchange of Unclassified FOUO, SBU, and LES information to sworn, full-time, law enforcement officers (federal, state, or local); federal employees affiliated with the criminal justice system or intelligence communities; military personnel; and government agencies associated with infrastructure protection of the United States. The CVE-AS Web Portal also shares Unclassified FOUO or SBU information with private sector partners, civilian security personnel, corporate executives, educational institutions/academia, international partners, community leaders, and other state and local partners, as appropriate. In addition, the portal includes information on outreach initiatives and subject matter experts; and forums to provide feedback, share products, and ask questions.

Active Shooter Training Provided by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC)

The Active Shooter Threat Training Program (ASTTP) is a 24-hour instructor-led training program designed to instill within students the knowledge, skills, abilities, and mindset necessary to successfully respond to an active threat event. This program utilizes dynamic interactive drills and scenario-based training to develop necessary proficiency. It covers tactical subject matters such as individual and team movements and operational formations, and focuses on the roles and responsibilities of responding officers. Upon successful completion of the program, each student receives a certificate of training. 

The Active Shooter Threat Instructor Training Program (ASTITP) is a 40-hour instructor-led training program designed to prepare students to serve as instructors or field training officers in the specialized area of active shooter threat response. In addition to covering tactical subject matters such as individual and team movements and operational formations, this program addresses the role of the instructor or field training officer by focusing on instructional methodologies, adult learning, scenario development, evaluation skills, and documentation requirements. Upon successful completion of the program, each student receives a certificate of training and is officially recognized as an Active Shooter Threat Training Instructor.

The Law Enforcement First Responder Training Program (LEFRTP) is a 24-hour classroom-based training program designed to help build critical skills that law enforcement officers acting as first responders need to effectively respond to mass consequence events, including criminal acts, terrorist attacks, and other large-scale emergencies. The program provides training, guidelines, and resources to address issues such as using a system of command to achieve a coordinated and effective incident response. The practical application of sound response principles is a main theme of this training program. Upon successful completion, each student receives a certificate of training.

Responding to an Active Shooter is a three-hour online course available to law enforcement officers through the FLETC’s online campus. The course introduces strategies that prepare officers for deadly force encounters, appropriate responses for static and dynamic tactical situations, and tactics for rapid deployment.

Active Shooter: What You Can Do

DHS has developed an independent study course entitled Active Shooter: What You Can Do. This course was developed to provide the public with guidance on how to prepare for and respond to active shooter crisis situations.

Upon completion of Active Shooter: What You Can Do, employees and managers will be able to:

  • Describe the actions to take when confronted with an active shooter and to assist responding law enforcement officials;
  • Recognize potential workplace violence indicators;
  • Describe actions to take to prevent and prepare for potential active shooter incidents; and
  • Describe how to manage the consequences of an active shooter incident.

The online training is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Management Institute and additional training for law enforcement is available at Federal Emergency Management Agency Law Enforcement Active Shooter Emergency Response.

Active Shooter Webinar

A 90-minute Webinar can help the private and public sector understand the importance of developing an emergency response plan and the need to train employees on how to respond if confronted with an active shooter. The presentation describes the three types of active shooters--workplace/school, criminal, and ideological--and how their planning cycles and behaviors differ.

Active Shooter Workshop Series

Active Shooter workshops have already taken place in a number of U.S. cities and will continue to be held in a number of locations in the future. These scenario-based workshops feature facilitated discussions to engage private sector professionals and law enforcement representatives from Federal, State, and local agencies to learn how to prepare for, and respond to, an active shooter situation. Through the course of the exercise, participants evaluate current response concepts, plans, and capabilities for coordinated responses to  active shooter incidents.

If you are interested in future workshops, please contact ASworkshop@hq.dhs.gov.

Active Shooter: How to Respond Resource Materials

DHS has developed a series of materials to assist businesses, government offices, and schools in preparing for and responding to an active shooter. These products include a desk reference guide, a reference poster, and a pocket-size reference card.

Issues covered in the active shooter materials include the following:

  • Profile of an active shooter;
  • Responding to an active shooter or other workplace violence situation;
  • Training for an active shooter situation and creating an emergency action plan; and
  • Tips for recognizing signs of potential workplace violence.

 Available Materials

Options for Consideration Active Shooter Preparedness Video

Options for Consideration demonstrates possible actions to take if confronted with an active shooter scenario. The video also shows how to assist authorities once law enforcement enters the scene. You may also access the video on YouTube.

Conducting  Security Assessments: A Guide for Schools and Houses of Worship Webinar

This webinar will help participants learn the importance of conducting a security assessment of their facility, how to find the right support in conducting that assessment, applicable security measures, and how to create a security culture that engages and involves all the members of their respective academic or faith community. 

U.S. Secret Service (USSS) Active Shooter Related Research

For more information on USSS programs, see:  http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac.shtml

 

 

Last Updated: April 8, 2014

Last Published Date: August 6, 2014
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