How Would Rochester Police Respond to a School Shooting?
The Valentine’s Day mass shooting at a high school in Florida continues to be one of the main topics of discussion and debate in our national and state capitals, schools, homes, workplaces and even the grocery store. While much of the media’s focus has been on proposals to restrict access to guns, there remain serious questions about the many warnings missed by authorities and the actions of a number of law enforcement officers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a former student began his murderous shooting spree in Parkland Florida.
Quite a bit of media attention has been directed at a school resource officer who waited several minutes after hearing gunfire before entering the building, as well as several other deputies who arrived moments later and waited outside. Fox News reported they were under orders to stage and establish a perimeter even though training models developed in response to school shootings have emphasized the importance of engaging the shooter as soon as possible.
Rochester Police Chief Roger Peterson commented on the issue during his most recent appearance on the Rochester Today Show from 11 until noon weekdays on News Talk 1340 KROC-AM.
Chief Peterson says charging into a school or other site of a mass shooting could quickly neutralize the threat, but the strategy is extraordinarily dangerous because it could create confusion as to which person with a gun is the “good guy” and which is the “bad guy.” That said, Peterson says the prevailing wisdom is the potential benefits outweigh the higher risks created by individual officers rushing into battle with a gunman or gunmen.