Shots Fired! Is Your Community Ready for an Active Shooter?

by Rod Gould, ICMA-CM, and Jack Brown

Active shooter incidents are increasing in America and around the globe. Local government managers and assistants have an affirmative duty to guide preparation, prevention, and response actions to limit the loss of life in the face of this alarming trend.

Not only must these efforts knit together first responders, including police, fire, and EMS personnel, into an integrated response, but research and experience indicates that local governments must increasingly involve and educate residents and business people in what to do when confronted with such a threat or an actual shooting itself.

Big or small, no community is immune from this deadly behavior. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were 277 mass shootings in 2014, 332 in 2015, and 191 mass shootings in 2016 up through July 16, 2016.

Time and learning from experience teaches that there are a number of actions a local government can take to preempt a lethal shooting or effectively cope when one occurs.

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