Police Say New Strategy Works With Mass Shootings

Dec 12, 2012

Law enforcement officers are using Tuesday's response to the shooting at Clackamas Town Center in Portland as an example of a successful change in police strategy.

Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson told OPB's Think Out Loud that most of law enforcement now practices what he calls "scenario-based training" in businesses, schools and malls. He says police agencies changed their ways after the 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

"The old way, if you will, would have been to wait for a SWAT team to show up. The new thinking and what works is you get the first five or six officers there, and they're gonna go in, and go toward the sound of gunfire. They are going in there to stop that person from hurting anyone else."

Simpson says the longer officers wait, the greater the chance that more people will be harmed.

Copyright 2012 Oregon Public Broadcasting