Public Safety Communications - April 2015 - (Page 32)

What to Look For How will you, as a telecommunicator, know which type of perpetrator your responders will face once they arrive on scene? How can we tell the difference between a lone attacker and a sophisticated terrorist strike by an international threat? There is no easy answer to this question (in fact, at the beginning of an incident it may be impossible to answer at all), but there are situational clues you can look for, and proper training, of course, will help you identify those clues. Multiple shooters: Because most active shooter scenarios have only one shooter, reports of two more shooters could mean that your emergency responders are going to have a major problem on their hands when they arrive on scene. Careful questioning is needed to determine if 9-1-1 callers are actually reporting multiple shooters, or if multiple callers are reporting the same shooter. Incident location: Is the incident location a potential location for terrorism? This could include any house of worship, government buildings and schools. This list should also include any business that might be a terrorist target, which could include abortion clinics or publications such as the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine that was recently targeted in Paris. Simultaneous attacks at multiple locations: If your comm center receives reports of multiple attacks at multiple locations, the potential for terrorism should be of immediate concern. Telecommunicators, along with all public safety employees, should also be trained to report any suspicious activity they may view at the location of a potential terrorism threat. The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) offers free training online at If members of your agency have not already utilized this resource, they should do so immediately. Communications plays a critical role in the protection of our country. If you receive a call of a suspicious person at your local elementary school taking photos, you, of course, enter a call and send offcers. But if, upon the arrival of your offcers, the person is gone and you close out the call and do nothing You are the frst incident commander 32 * Public Safety Communications Bystanders react outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Wis., where a shooting took place Sunday, Aug 5, 2012. AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps further, then you have failed. This type of activity needs to be reported to your local fusion center, which are located in states and major urban areas throughout the country under the operation of the Department of Homeland Security. To fnd the one nearest you, do a Google search of your city name followed by "fusion center" and you should fnd the number for your local center. These centers are where local, state and federal law enforcement gather and share information. The simple saying is if you see something, say something-and that includes you. Not only do we need to be prepared to respond to an incident, we need to be ready to prevent an incident. The telecommunicator's role is critical in the response to any active shooter incident. You are the frst incident commander. TONY HARRISON has 30 years of public safety experience, is a Life Member of APCO and is president of The Public Safety Group. He was the on-duty supervisor at the Oklahoma City (Okla.) Police Department during the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in 1995. He has been teaching about terrorism for 20 years and can be reached at FURTHER RESOURCES 1. Estepa J. and Lackey K. (Jan. 10, 2015) Paris attack: what we know today. USA Today. Retrieved on March 17, 2015, from paris-terror-attack-charlie-hebdo/21547011/. 2. HBO Documentaries. (2010) Terror in Mumbai. Retrieved on March 17, 2015, from 3. BBC News. (Dec. 18, 2014) Pakistan school massacre. Retrieved on March 17, 2015, from 4. U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Sep. 16, 2013) A study of active shooter incidents in the United States between 2000 and 2013. Retrieved on March 17, 2015, from news/stories/2014/september/fbi-releases-study-on-active-shooterincidents/pdfs/a-study-of-active-shooter-incidents-in-the-u.s.-between-2000-and-2013. April 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Public Safety Communications - April 2015

Board of Directors, Executive Council & Chapter Presidents
President's Channel
Capitol Dispatch
On Scene
Public Broadcast
Top Ops
Membership Information
The Active Shooter & Terrorism
Mission-Based Resilience Training
About the Cover
CDE #38942 Accomplish Your Career Goals
Institute Schedule
CDE Exam
Telecommunicator Spotlight
Cool Cache
Ad Index
Member Services

Public Safety Communications - April 2015