Columbine Prompted “Active-Shooter” Training


Ten years later, the Columbine massacre has transformed the way police in the U.S. deal with shooting rampages, reports the Associated Press. After the episode, police developed “active-shooter” training. It calls for responding officers to rush toward gunfire and step over bodies and bleeding victims, if necessary, to stop the gunman first. Sgt. A.J. DeAndrea, a patrol officer in the Denver suburb of Arvada, and now-retired sheriff’s Sgt. Grant Whitus, two of the elite team members who searched Columbine High that day, train police with the idea that a gunman, in a mass shooting, kills a person every 15 seconds.

“Based on what we had been through, we had decided that day that we would prepare, and that the lives lost at Columbine were not going to be in vain,” said DeAndrea, team leader of the Jefferson County elite regional police team. Around the U.S., police say the strategy has saved lives. In North Carolina, active-shooter training became part of the state law enforcement academy curriculum in 2001. Last month, a rampage at a Carthage, N.C., nursing home that killed a nurse and seven patients was cut short when an officer who had undergone active-shooter training entered the facility alone and wounded the gunman with a single shot.

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