Tactical response to barricaded gunman and hostage situations

Maintaining your situational awareness will provide good judgment, clear analysis, and proper decisions as you face the tactical challenges of a barricaded gunmen

The “man with a gun” call comes out over the radio and you’re dispatched as the primary unit. All of a sudden you experience a serious adrenaline dump. Instantly, your situational awareness is piqued and your thoughts are clear and focused. The radio chatter picks up as other units volunteer to respond. Supervisors are dispatched and further details are broadcast over the air.

Within the next couple of minutes you may be faced with a gunman wanting to wreak havoc on your tour of duty. As you race to the scene there are many thoughts of what needs to occur as you arrive. As a first responder to a barricaded gunman or a hostage situation you will be responsible for the initial response, which could be a civil litigation nightmare.

We all know that most officers want to resolve matters on their own. We all have that mythical hero dancing in our heads. The reality, however, is that we need to slow down and temper those thoughts of heroism so that we can effectively respond in a tactical manner — we must consider the safety of all involved, and we put the proper strategy in place for our response.

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