The Evolution of Active Shooter Response Training Protocols Since Columbine: Lessons From the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center

AuthorJ. Pete Blair,M. Hunter Martaindale
Published date01 August 2019
Date01 August 2019
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1177/1043986219840237
Subject MatterCommentary
https://doi.org/10.1177/1043986219840237
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
2019, Vol. 35(3) 342 –356
© The Author(s) 2019
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DOI: 10.1177/1043986219840237
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Commentary
The Evolution of Active
Shooter Response Training
Protocols Since Columbine:
Lessons From the Advanced
Law Enforcement Rapid
Response Training Center
M. Hunter Martaindale1 and J. Pete Blair1
Abstract
On April 20, 1999, two active shooters attacked Columbine High School. This attack
became a catalyst that changed the manner in which law enforcement prepared for
similar attacks at schools and other locations. Departments across the United States
developed and adopted active shooter response training protocols. To assist law
enforcement with this work, training centers were created including the Advanced
Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center. ALERRT was formed
in 2002 and was named the national standard in active shooter training by the Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2013. To date, ALERRT has trained more than
130,000 first responders from over 9,000 agencies in active shooter response. This
commentary leverages our extensive expertise as directors of ALERRT. Specifically,
we discuss how training protocols have evolved over the last two decades to include
active shooter response teams, solo officer response, medical intervention training,
integrated response training, and civilian response.
Keywords
active shooter, tactics, policing
A 17-year-old student opened fire at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, on May
18, 2018. The shooter attacked students and teachers in two classrooms nestled within
the school’s art complex around 7:40 a.m. Using a shotgun and handgun, he killed 10
1Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA
Corresponding Author:
M. Hunter Martaindale, Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center, Texas State
University, 1251 Sadler Dr., Suite 1200, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA.
Email: Hunter@ALERRT.org
840237CCJXXX10.1177/1043986219840237Journal of Contemporary Criminal JusticeMartaindale and Blair
article-commentary2019

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