Active shooters: is law enforcement ready for a Mumbai style attack?
Justice, Joel M.
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Between April 16, 2007, and December 14, 2012, the United States has seen 25 mass shootings, seven of which occurred in 2012. A report by United States Department of Homeland Security, in 2009, suggested that the United States will be the target of a terrorist act that could cause a high number of casualties. The November 26, 2008, attack on Mumbai is a transparent example of how determined terrorists, trained to die fighting, can bring a large metropolitan city to its knees. It is entirely probable that Mumbai-type attacks could occur in the United States. Since the local law enforcement respond to attacks in progress, any active shooter event would be handled by the local jurisdiction. Many law enforcement agencies have begun to incorporate tactical plans to respond to Mumbai-type terrorist attacks. This thesis focused on police preparedness of select large metropolitan law enforcement agencies for potential Mumbai-type terrorist attacks. A comparative analysis of these police agencies was conducted, which showed that the frequency of training was found to be varying and inadequate by these agencies. A similar concern was that none of the agencies had equipped all the police officers with rifles, which were deemed critical to engage well-equipped active shooters. It is the conclusion of the thesis that gaps in preparedness exist and law enforcement organizations have room for improvement. It was also concluded that agencies need to enhance communication capability between neighboring jurisdictions and focus on triage of the victims during the early stages of attacks when medical personnel would be unable to approach
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