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Rapid Response/Active Shooter Lesson Plan

By Lt. Keith Frakes

Patrol Response to In-progress Violence.


DURATION/LENGTH: 12 hours; Three hours lecture - nine hours practical exercise.

COURSE CONTENT: This block of instruction will teach students how to effectively respond to incidents involving armed gunmen on school campuses, large public buildings, government facilities or other workplace locations.


At the end of this block of instruction the student will be able to:

  1. Explain the Extraordinary Deployment/Rapid Intervention concept.
  2. Recognize and explain how extraordinary deployment differs from the deployment needed at a hostage/barricade situation.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in 2 and 3 person movement and clearing techniques.


PREPARED BY: Lt. K. Frakes #669



  • California Dept. of Education Crisis Management and Response Plan.
  • National Tactical Officers Association Extraordinary Deployment.
  • Macon County School District Dangerous Persons Response Plan.

TRAINING AIDS: Easel and flip charts. News Videos Schoolof Shootings. Simunitions, Improvised Explosive Devices (training).

Lecture and practical exercise.

  A. Term coined by NTOA founder John Kolman. Used to describe rapid aggressive response to armed individuals who are actively and randomly shooting people at a school campus, workplace, or other public gathering.
  B. Extraordinary vs. Hostage/Barricade. An extraordinary deployment calls for the first patrol units on scene to form 2 or 3 man teams and immediately locate and stop the gunmen/gunman. Patrol response to a hostage/barricade involves setting containment, perimeters, gathering intel., and requesting appropriate resources.
  C. It is critical to know the differences between the types of deployments and to be able to accurately assess the circumstances and deploy appropriately. A response may change from an initial extraordinary deployment to a hostage/barricade deployment based upon the suspect/suspects actions.
  D. Find, confront & stop the deadly behavior!
  A. Before the 1999-2000 school year TOU will have prepared info packets on every school within the dept's jurisdiction. A copy of the packet will be placed in the patrol supervisor’s vehicle at each district. The packet will contain aerial photos and schematics of the campuses. The packet is intended to help the patrol Sgt. with command and control.
  B. It is highly recommended that patrol deputies walk through the various schools within their districts. Know where the schools are, know how to get around the campus, meet the teachers etc. The schools love to see deputies on the campus and first hand knowledge of the campus will greatly increase the success of an extraordinary deployment. During the summer of 1999 TOU has suggested that schools develop a specific plan for armed suspects on campus. Find out what their plan is, where kids will be moved, what doors will be locked, etc.
  C. If you have already qualified to carry a service rifle maintain your proficiency and carry it. If you have not you should. Distances outside and even indoors at most campuses put you at an extreme disadvantage with only a handgun. Remember the saying, "A handgun is what you use to fight your way back to your rifle," (Jeff Cooper). Or: "Taking a rifle to a gunfight is like taking a chainsaw to a knife fight," (Dave Grossman). Know which of your fellow squad members carry one. Have a method to carry extra rifle mags on your person. If you haven't qualified with a rifle, carry a shotgun and extra slugs.
  D. Wear your body armor, carry a flashlight or weapon mounted light, make sure you have your radio and that it is on the right channel.
  E. Be mentally prepared to....
 Encounter numerous victims and bypass them as you hunt for the shooter.

 Encounter and engage very young suspects.

 Receive incoming fire.

Resist "cling-on" victims.
  A. Radio receives a 911 call of a suspect roaming a campus and randomly shooting students and faculty.
  B. Patrol supervisor assures that all units 10-50 to a channel designated by radio, all district units respond, units from adjoining districts move in to handle emergency traffic. TOU is requested and notifications are made up the chain of command.
  C. First 2-3 units arrive and determine that an extraordinary response is necessary.(Gunfire, explosions, screaming, info provided by school to radio etc.) These units form a team and rapidly move to locate and stop the suspect. Ideally the team will, "move to the sound of the guns," guided by gunshots, fleeing students, or other intel. The team advises the Sgt. of the buildings they have cleared and their direction of movement etc. The Sgt. using aerial photo and schematics plots their progress. As additional units arrive, the Sgt. assigns and directs them as additional clearing teams, perimeter or containment teams etc and continues tracking progress with the schematics and photo.
  D. Once the threat has been eliminated personnel can be assigned to manage the scene as necessary.
  A. Initial Response - Enroute Tasks
  1. Although this is obviously a emergency response sirens should be turned off well before arriving on campus. Use of sirens may allow the suspects to become aware of your presence and engage you immediately or, take steps to avoid detection or lay an ambush.
  2. Obtain all pertinent intel from radio. School officials have been directed to have a designated staff member remain on the phone with radio to provide continuous updates on activity at the school.
  3. Based on intel from radio determine initial deployment location on campus. Your familiarity with the campus will assist greatly in this regard.
  4. Determine ETA of other responding units and coordinate initial deployment. If possible recommend secure location for CP for units who will be coming later.
  B. Arrival on Scene:
  1.Pick a place where you can stop, get out, check gear and orient yourself without coming under fire. An example would be a windowless wall at the rear of a building on campus. Don't be afraid to drive across the grounds to accomplish this. Again prior familiarization with the campus is critical.
  2. Coordinate with other units. Check each others gear. Rifle or shotgun with slugs, body armor, flashlight, radio on the right channel. Ensure that Sgt. knows you are on scene and where you intend to go first, bldg, a room, etc.
  3. Based on intel from radio and what you see and hear upon arrival determine if an extraordinary deployment is still needed.
  C. Movement to Contact (Plans for crossing large open areas to initial entry point or building to building.)
  1. Heavy fire from suspect may dictate another entry point.
  2. Sgt. may direct suppressive fire while additional units maneuver and close on suspect. Maneuver element must know location of suspect, and the location of officers providing suppressive fire. Communication between the two elements is critical. An L-shape configuration is ideal an minimizes the potential for crossfire hazards.

3. Explain suppressive fire - Controlled fire of single rounds at irregular intervals. Used to prevent the suspect from continuing to fire or to deny his ability to move. Rounds should be fired into baseboard or ceiling/wall joint. Intent to use suppressive fire must be communicated to all units. Suppressive fire must not pose a threat to victims on scene.

  4. Use cover and concealment. Cover stops bullets concealment does not.
  5. Bound and over watch. Used to move across large open areas. At least one officer stops and provides cover from a stable shooting platform preferably behind cover while other officers quickly move across the open area. Officers moving go to a covered position and stop. They then provide cover. The element moves across the open area in a leap-frog fashion.
  D. Interior movement and clearing techniques (2-3 man dynamic movement).
  1. Two man configuration, first man determines direction and speed of movement, second man acts as cover and picks up angles not covered by man #1. Second man is also responsible for all commo.
  2. Three man rotation, point, point cover, rear guard. Point determines direction and speed, point cover picks up uncovered angles, rear guard defends group from rear orpicks up additional angles as appropriate. Rear guard is also responsible for all commo. Positions may rotate and change as the group progresses through the structure.
  3. 90 degree angles. 90 degree angles pose a significant threat in each room, structure, hallway being cleared. As a rule point will take the first 90 he comes to and point cover will take the opposing 90 or reflective angle.
  d4. Reflective angles. Reflective angles may be simple as in opposing 90's while entering a room. Reflective angles will constantly change as the team moves through the structure. It is the responsibility of #2 and #3 men to pick up reflective angles encountered by the point position.
  5. Points of domination. Areas inside a structure that allow an officer a shooting position that dominates and covers a large area.
  6. Noise discipline. Although a school shooting situation will be chaotic and noisy do not alert the suspect to your presence if possible. Announcing your presence is unnecessary until contact is made. Don't rub or scrape against walls. If the suspect has been located and is unaware of your presence communicate and then turn down radio volume while you close to engage.
  7. Light discipline. The suspect/s may have affected lighting at the school. If flashlights are necessary, remember they betray your presence. Do not leave light on continuously. Avoid being backlit. Be cognizant that your shadow can be seen, even under a door from a closed room.
  8. Running the walls. Term used largely to describe a movement common to both high risk warrant service and hostage rescue techniques. This technique allows a room to be divided into sectors and lessens each individual’s area of responsibility and potential threat areas.
  9. Sector of Fire vs. Field of Fire. Sector of fire refers to an individual’s area of responsibility. Field of fire refers to the weapons capabilities.
  10. Downed/injured subjects. Wounded, bleeding, dying children or teachers
and fellow officers must be bypassed until the threat has been eliminated. Mental preparation for this possibility is critical.
  11. Locked rooms. Virtually every school has a lockdown procedure of some kind in place for emergency situations. Most classroom doors are metal cased outward opening and would be difficult to breach without proper equipment and training. Unless there is an indication that the suspect is inside a locked room, screaming, shots being fired etc, locked rooms should be bypassed.
  12. Communication. It is critical that you stay in contact with the Sgt, other supervisors, or command post.
  E. Breaching.
  1. It may be necessary to attempt a door/ window breach if it is determined that the suspect is inside a locked room and is actively shooting people.
  2. An inward opening wooden door can be breached with a makeshift ram, a heavy fire extinguisher, large rock, or other heavy solid object. Even a makeshift ram is preferable to kicking which will work on a wooden door if necessary. If a window is available it can be broken out and raked clean. Even if entry is impractical through the window breaching it may allow you to engage the suspect.
  3. Although TOU uses specially designed frangible projectiles, an outward opening metal cased or solid core wood door can be breached with a standard shotgun slug. This technique poses significant risks to occupants of the room. It should only be employed when you can articulate that a suspect was inside the room actively shooting people and that failure to act would result in more casualties. Proper stand off and angle will be demonstrated during practical exercises.
  A. During an extraordinary deployment at a school shooting the first priority is to find and stop the suspect. It is important to remember that there may be other armed individuals on the school grounds. Teachers who retrieved a weapon from their vehicle, off duty or plain clothes officers from other agencies, parents who were on campus or nearby when the event began. Despite the unusual circumstances MCSO policy regarding the use of force is still in effect.
  B. The emotion and chaos of a school shooting scene will likely result in
unreliable information regarding numbers and descriptions of suspects etc.
  C. When a suspect is encountered he must immediately surrender and become compliant or be stopped with force.
  D. Officer safety dictates that you bring the suspect to you. If you must approach downed suspect be cognizant of 90 degree and reflective angles in the event of multiple suspects.
  E. Should the suspect barricade himself in a room or other structure or take hostages the scenario and priorities change to one of containment, aid and evac for the injured, scene preservation, and the use of additional resources.
  A. Extraordinary deployment at workplaces, shopping areas, stadiums, etc.
  B. Raid jacket for all non uniform personnel responding.
  C. Extra ammo at districts. Extra slugs in each vehicle.
  D. Schools told to request deputy for fire drills, especially unplanned activations of fire alarm.
  E. Personal equip
• Service rifle/ spare mags. Shotgun extra slugs

• Body armor

• Radio
  F. Mind set
• Aggressive, decisive, ruthless.

• Prepared to be fired upon. Prepared to continue fighting if hit.

• Prepared to encounter and bypass casualties.

Flexible, ready to adapt and improvise to win.
  G. Improvised explosive devices.
 Most commonly encountered- pipe bombs (hand lit & hand thrown)

 Recognize most common fusing system- time fuse, hobby fuse.

 Assess & circumvent. Put distance between you and the IED.

 IED's must not stop the objective of finding and stopping suspect.
  Practical exercises will be conducted at a school within the patrol districts area of responsibility. Students and role players will be equipped with weapons firing Simunitions and protective equipment.
  A. Exercise #1 Performance Objective #1, #2, #3 Duration - Two hours

After the classroom lecture portion of the training students will be given a scenario of an in progress shooting at a school within their district. After students arrive and begin clearing the campus they will be advised that the suspect has barricaded himself in a restroom.

During the exercise the student’s ability to execute movement to contact and interior clearing skills (Performance Objective #3) will be evaluated by instructors.
Student’s ability to recognize the need for an extraordinary deployment

(Performance Objective #1) on the initial call and recognition of a change to a barricade response (Performance Objective #2) later in the scenario will be evaluated. 
  B. Exercise #2 Performance Objective #3 Duration - Five hours

Students broken into two groups. Two groups broken into 2 and 3 man elements. Students given individual hands on instruction in movement to contact and clearing skills.

Group #1 Bound and over watch

Cover and concealment  Mechanical Breaching
Suppressive fire Window breaching
Maneuver with suppressive fire  Shotgun breaching
 Locked rooms  

Group #2 Three man rotation

Two man clearing  Sector and fields of fire
90 degree and reflective angles Downed subjects
Points of domination • Communication
Noise and light discipline   Initiative based tactics
Running walls  

The groups will spend approx 2 hours at each station and then rotate.
  C. Exercise #3 Performance Objectives #1,2,3 Duration 2 hours

Students will be given a second scenario involving 2 armed and active shooters at the campus. All three performance objectives will be evaluated. A debriefing and walk through will be conducted after the problem has been resolved by students.

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