NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) –
There have been many conversations about active shooter situations since the tragedy in Paris. The FBI says incidents are on the rise. That’s not expected to change anytime soon. So what’s more important than ever to do right now? They say it’s critical to train and prepare. And that’s what law enforcement officers in Hampton Roads did today.
In a room at Norfolk State University, 120 law enforcement officers watched a movie produced by the FBI simply titled “The Coming Storm”. It weaved in concepts on how to approach an active shooter situation and the challenges that result from doing just that.
“As we have seen the number of active shooter situations continues to increase,” said Special Agent in Charge John Adams. “So this is a huge problem in society and a huge challenge for law enforcement. The majority of those incidents occurred in five minutes or less. They were over within 5 minutes so we have to prepare ourselves for that as well.”
The FBI studied active shooter situation over 14 years. A total of 160 showed troubling trends. Seventy percent of them occurred in open, commercial or educational areas which made it significant to have this event at NSU.
“The first seven years it was about six incidents per year,” said Adams. “The last seven years it went up to 16 incidents per year.”
“In my first 30 day assessment one of the things I identified was how prepared are we for an active shooter,” said Norfolk State Police Chief Troy Covington. “We want the new CAD system, Computer Aided Dispatch, we had one currently. I just didn’t think it met our needs. So we’re updating the CAD system. If it happens here we will be the first on scene. Norfolk is a phone call away but the cool thing is our radios interact so we can actually talk.”
They’ve added cameras and plan on upgrading systems. vBut they know communication is key.
They’re making sure they’re speaking the same language to help save and protect precious lives. The Chief at Norfolk State says their next joint training will be with Norfolk Police. Meanwhile the FBI says they will have reached 300 partners with their presentation by the end of this week.