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DC Police Chief Urges Citizens to Confront Active Shooter in an Emergency

Image: DC Police Chief Urges Citizens to Confront Active Shooter in an Emergency
D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 10:12 AM

While it may seem counterintuitive to what police usually tell people, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told Anderson Cooper on CBS' "60 Minutes" that if an individual is confronted by an active shooter, they are advised to "fight," The Washington Post reports.

"Your options are run, hide or fight," Lanier said on the nationally broadcast show. "I always say if you can get out, getting out's your first option, your best option. If you're in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it's the best option for saving lives before police can get there."

In 2013, the Houston mayor's Office of Public Safety released a video titled "Run, Hide, Fight." The video, funded by the Department of Homeland Security, gives a detailed analysis of active shootings and ways to confront a gunmen.

Director of the Police Executive Research Forum Chuck Wexler said that the latest statements from the police chief of the nation's capital "is breaking new ground."

Historically, citizens have been urged to call 911 in the case of an emergency, however Wexler said, "if you're dealing with suicide bombers or terrorists, it's a completely different dynamic.

"I think that because so much can happen in so few seconds, intervention by citizens can make a big difference," Wexler added.

The "60 Minutes" show pointed out how strategies in law enforcement have changed since the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. While police waited for tactical squads to arrive on scene before storming the building, the Post reports that 13 people had already been killed.

Now, The Washington Post notes that every moment counts, and citizens intervening in the situation could potentially save lives before police arrive on scene.

"If you are in close proximity to the shooter and the choice is between being shot and fight, you fight," said J. Pete Blair, the director of research for the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training based at Texas State University.

Blair compared the advice and videos to families practicing fire drills and cities going though disaster preparedness training.

"It's accepting the reality of the situation we live in currently," Blair said. "If you spend a few moments thinking about how you would react, you will perform better and increase the chances that you can survive."

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While it may seem counterintuitive to what police usually tell people, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told Anderson Cooper on CBS' "60 Minutes" that if an individual is confronted by an active shooter, they are advised to "fight," The Washington Post reports.
washington dc, police chief, urges, citizens, confront, shooters
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2015-12-24
Tuesday, 24 Nov 2015 10:12 AM
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