The event that took place at Columbine High School in April of 1999 changed the way Law Enforcement trained and responded to active shooter situations. With the amount of intense anger this act of violence caused, officers, trainers and supervisors recognized the need for a different approach. Since this incident, there have been numerous examples of active shooters. We are all too aware of these unfortunate events that come of this. We are also aware that this is a recurring one and can be very unpredictable.
So why is it important to have an off-duty officer? How can they deter a mass shooting situation? These murderers have one intention only and it’s to terrorize and kill as many people as possible. The presence of a police officer can help deter crime because it raises the probability of being caught. When they approach their target and see they are up against Law Enforcement they have more of a fight. Police officers are there to protect you, and they will do just that.
When not having an off-duty officer on any premise you fight for yourself and you are up against time. If one day you happen to be face to face with something so frightening, you may not know how to respond or react, and this is when time is important. According to police1.com active shooters target most of their victims within the first several minutes. The average time for calls to be made to 911, information is dispatched to the officers, and officers arrive on scene could be 5-7 minutes or longer and then on top of that once on scene they must locate and stop the killer. When hiring off duty officers you have 911 already there.
Someone who is highly trained to detect suspicious activity, can handle high stress situations, and know how to respond and react instantly. When walking into your local supermarket, convenient store, clothing store, etc. Most people can agree when seeing an officer present, everyone feels a sense of security, we feel a little safer.
Listed in an article from link.springer.com in situations perceived as unsafe, all types of uniformed presence increased feelings of safety. Foot patrolling police contributed to the greatest increase in feelings of safety. 82% of Americans expressed confidence in their local police says news.gallup.com, and we should too. We do not want our lives, our friends, families, co-workers, colleagues, our children’s lives being victimized by a mass murderer. We should all want that sense of extra protection, knowing someone will already be there to save us and save our lives.