Lessons Learned in Response and Recovery: Northern Illinois ...

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Lessons Learned in Response and Recovery: Northern Illinois ...

Lessons Learned in Responseand Recovery: NorthernIllinois UniversityPresenter:Lt. Darren MitchellNorthern Illinois University Police Department


NIU Department of Public Safety• 62 Police Officers• 8 Telecommunicators• 9 Security Guards• 6 Civilian Employees• 6 Community Safety Centers• Late Night Ride Service• Residence Hall Officer Program


Department Philosophy• Prevention vs. Reaction• Obtain Voluntary ComplianceThrough the Least RestrictiveMeans Necessary• Build Trusting Relationships• Integrated Community PolicingModel


Department PhilosophyEvery Officer is Involved in CommunityPolicingOfficers are Assigned Specific Areas ofResponsibility• Community Safety Centers In Key Locations• Officers are accessible and approachable


Department Philosophy• Officers Engagethe CommunityThrough Foot PatrolFormal and InformalCommunity MeetingsEducationalProgrammingCollaborativeProblem Solving


Cycle of Crisis Planning


The Three Ships to Crisis ManagementLeadership Establish Goals and Objectives Make Sound and Timely Decisions Communicate EffectivelyFollowership Disciplined and well exercised “Stay in your lane!”Relationship Establish trusting and open relationships with thecommunity Build familiarity and trust with other agencies Train with other agencies before an incident occurs


Our Active Shooter Plan:• Develop a comprehensive Active Shooter policy.• Train All officers in the response to ActiveShooters – Include realistic scenarios• Remember, an immediate response is criticallyimportant - the first officer on the scene goes in!• Equip all squad cars with ballistic shields andemergency medical trauma bags!• Train, train and train some more….


Events Leading Up to the Incident• September 2007 – President Peters establishesa committee to review the V-Tech report.• October 2007 – Department conducts a multijurisdictionalMass Casualty Exercise.• October 2007 – Test Emergency NotificationSystem• December 2007 – Department investigatesthreats of an active shooting, prompting auniversity closure.• February 7, 2008 – Department investigatesthreatening graffiti left in a bathroom stall.


The Primary Response• 911 Callers Begin Reporting the Shooting 3:06PM• Officers Observe Dispersion of Students 3:06 PM• 13 NIU Police Officers Respond from VariousLocations• First Officer Enters Cole Hall at 3:08 PM• Entry of Collins Auditorium 3:09 PM• Triage and Treatment 3:10 PM• Collins Auditorium Secured 3:12 PM• Cole Hall Declared Safe 3:15 PM• Public Affairs First Alert 3:20 PM


Fire/EMS Staging – Initiated at 3:08 PM


Treatment and Transport• First Paramedics EnterCole Hall at 3:15 PM• First Transport fromScene 3:26 PM• DeKalb Fire Departmentwith the Assistance of19 Mutual Aid Agencies• Departments Transport18 Victims from the 5Campus Locations toKishwaukee CommunityHospital


Treatment and Transport• Last VictimTransported at 4:54 PM• 2 of the 18 TransportedDied at the Hospital• 6 Victims Transportedby Helicopter from KCHto 4 differentHospitals• 4 People PronouncedDead at the Scene,Including the Shooter


3 patients3 patients3 patients2 patients5 patients4 deceased1 patient


Incident Command and Staging ofPolice Resources• Establish MobileCommand Post• Establish ReceptionPoint– Identify personnel– Type Resources– Keep Records• Establish Staging Area– Provide appropriatebriefing– Make assignments– Standby until needed


Resource Allocation• Perimeter Support• Security Sweeps• Preliminary Investigations and WitnessInterviews• Door to Door Sweeps of Nearby Buildings• Tactical Response Team


• Behavioral ScienceFBIInvestigation• Investigative CommandNIU Police• Crime Scene ProcessingFBI and ISP• Witness InterviewsISP• Firearms TracingATF• Victim InterviewsATF• Suspect BackgroundDeKalb MCS


Lessons Confirmed1.Train All Officers in theresponse to an ActiveShooter or ViolentIntruder.• You cannot predictwhen or where andactive shooter willstrike.• You cannot wait forS.W.A.T.


Lessons Confirmed2. The First Officer on the Scene Goes In.• The people insideare not armed orprotected by bodyarmor.• Seconds count.


Lessons Confirmed (cont.)You don’t have the time toset up a perimeter, stagean entry team, formulatean entry plan and thenenter.• In an instant many morepeople can be hurt or losetheir lives.• Forces the suspect to takecover, flee, engage theofficer or take his own life.


Lessons Confirmed3. Train with what you carry.• That means the tools you carry with you thevast majority of the time.• You will not always have immediate access tolong guns or ballistic shields.• You don’t have the time to go back for thethings you wish you had.


Lessons Confirmed4. If all of your police officers AreEmergency Medical Technicians:• Every Officer responding to theincident is a tactical EMT• Officers are able to transition fromlaw enforcement to emergency medicaltreatment and triage.• Provides for immediate emergencymedical treatment to injured untilother EMS professionals arrive.


Lessons Confirmed5. Train with other arearesponders before an incidentoccurs.• The development and use ofIAPs for planned eventsprepared us for use of IAPsin an actual crisis.• Mock exercises helpidentify weakness in ourplans and allow us to makeimprovements before acrisis occurs.• Training develops trust andenhances communication.


Lessons Confirmed6. Staging of responders is criticallyimportant.• Communicate your staging and receptionprotocols to local agencies:•If you don’t everyone will respond directlyto the scene of the shooting.•Uncoordinated police response to the scenehas the ability to cause confusion.


Lessons Confirmed7. Maximizing resource effectiveness iscritically important.• Direct the agencies inyour area to only sendthe people andresources you ask for.• Assign officers whoreport to the stagingarea specific duties anddirect them to STAY INTHEIR LANES.


Lessons Confirmed• Every responder coming to assist must bestaged upon their arrival, unless the officerin command at the scene directs otherwise.• Officers cannot abandon their givenassignment unless redirected by someone in aposition of authority.


Lessons Learned1.Beware of Dispersion• Victims will flee the scene if they can.• Don’t just assume victims were injured in thelocation they are found.• Don’t report a “second shooter” unless youhave clear evidence of one.• Telecommunicators must ask clarify questionsand avoid the assumption that callers whereinjured at their present location.


Lessons Learned2. Select primary, secondary and tertiarystaging areas now, before you have anincident on your campus.


Forward Together Forward


“An act of violence does not define us.”NIU President John Peters


Experiences and Key Lessons Confirmed from theNIU TragedyQuestions?


Contact InformationLt. Darren Mitchell, DirectorOffice of EmergencyManagement & PlanningNorthern Illinois UniversityDepartment of Public Safety375 wirtz DriveDekalb, Illinois 60115815.753.9679/office815.752.0334/faxdmitchell@niu.edu

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