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06-30-2012, 12:42 #1
Border Patrol union blasts Homeland Security instructions to 'run away' and 'hide'
Border Patrol agents in Arizona are blasting their bosses for telling them, along with all other Department of Homeland Security employees, to run and hide if they encounter an "active shooter."
It's one thing to tell civilian employees to cower under a desk if a gunman starts spraying fire in a confined area, say members of Tucson Local 2544/National Border Patrol Council, but to give armed law enforcement professionals the same advice is downright insulting. The instructions from DHS come in the form of pamphlets and a mandatory computer tutorial.
“We are now taught in an ‘Active Shooter’ course that if we encounter a shooter in a public place we are to ‘run away’ and ‘hide’" union leader Brandon Judd wrote on the website of 3,300-member union local. “If we are cornered by such a shooter we are to (only as a last resort) become ‘aggressive’ and ‘throw things’ at him or her. We are then advised to ‘call law enforcement’ and wait for their arrival (presumably, while more innocent victims are slaughtered)."
The FEMA-administered computer course, entitled “IS-907- Active Shooter: What You Can Do,” is a 45-minute tutorial that provides guidance to all employees on how to recognize indicators of possible workplace violence and what to do should their office be invaded by gunmen and focuses around three main options; either evacuate, hide out, or in dire circumstances, take action.
Main Points of the "Active Shooter" training course
Evacuate: If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises.
Hide out: If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find
Take action: As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or
incapacitate the active shooter.
Once the course is completed, employees are urged to download additional materials including a summary booklet and pocket-sized card outlining protocol, which was also handed out to employees two months ago.
One DHS employee told FoxNews.com the instruction cards were handed out to employees six weeks ago. At the time, he assumed they were only for civilian employees, not armed law enforcement officers within the department, which oversees the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
"Requiring BP agents to follow the same steps is egregious,” he said.
DHS officials maintain that the Active Shooter course was designed for all employees—civilian and law-enforcement officers-- and no one should rush into a situation where they, or others around them, could get hurt.
“The Department of Homeland Security takes very seriously its responsibility to protect all of its employees from threats that may surface in the workplace,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel said in a written statement to FoxNews.com
“CBP workforce training is designed to prepare all employees, including leaders, managers, supervisors, law enforcement personnel and non-law enforcement personnel, to understand their own roles and the roles of their fellow employees in responding to threats. In an active shooter scenario, employees are taught to take actions that keep them alive.”
But members of Local 2544 say they are obligated to protect the public in such a situation, whether they are on duty or not. Given the instructions, some wonder if they would be disciplined for taking down a gunman in a situation like the Fort Hood shooting or the January, 2011 case in Casa Adobes, in which a deranged gunmen shot 19 people, including Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Six people were killed.
“It is always comforting to know that for those of us who carry a weapon when we are off-duty, if we should encounter such a situation, stop a shooter and save countless lives, we can look forward to being disciplined or fired by the Border Patrol because we should have run away to hide and then maybe thrown objects at the deranged killer instead of taking action and stopping him with a firearm,” the union local's website says.
Read more: Border Patrol union blasts Homeland Security instructions to 'run away' and 'hide' from gunmen | Fox NewsIn every facet of American life the current movement is towards a complete lack of accountability for self and personal responsibility for actions or lack thereof, with a growing sentiment towards a sense of entitlement of everything and earning nothing. - SIU
06-30-2012, 13:16 #2
My guess would be someone at FEMA or DHS decided they needed to have X number of people complete active shooter training, and figured out the best way to do that is to mandate it for all DHS employees. FEMA has a knack for this approach with its incident management courses, not just at the federal level but also for cities that get grant funding. Somebody should have decided there was a need for two versions, one for sworn personnel and one for other employees, but this is one of the side effects of training being about meeting quotas moreso than actually teaching something.
06-30-2012, 14:32 #3My guess would be someone at FEMA or DHS decided they needed to have X number of people complete active shooter training, and figured out the best way to do that is to mandate it for all DHS employees.
Have the folks who are "blasting" the agency over this not ever had to take a useless/non-applicable online government training course, before?"I don't share your greed...the only card I need...is the Ace of Spades, the Ace of Spades..."
06-30-2012, 15:53 #4
This is such a bunch of crap. The Active Shooter brochure and sheet have been available for over a year. It is not an LEO only document and is NOT directing sworn officers to run away from an active shooter situation.
Someone decided to try to get some press miles out of a generic presentation that wasn't designed for LEO only. So now the Administration is calling on LEOs to run away? I just can't wait for this political theatre to be over.
If I had the money, I'd relocate to Chile until after November so I wouldn't have to put up with the endless spin and crap like this.“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” — Miguel de Cervantes
06-30-2012, 18:34 #5Sergeant
- Join Date
- Nov 2010
I thought everyone in the government had to take that course. None of us thought it applied to armed agents. The good side of it is that now I know what the support employees are expected to do, so I can react with that in mind. In our office, it prompted a discussion on our squad about how we would address an active shooter in our building, so now we have some forethought about how to handle it if it ever comes up. I don't see a problem here.
06-30-2012, 21:13 #6
The response is overblown but I do think it raises a valid point. With some of the ICS courses, FEMA has both LE and non-LE versions tailored to the specific audience. Seems logical to me that they could have taken a similar approach here.
07-01-2012, 16:37 #7Lieutenant
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
Agree with the comments; political theater. I took the training and had a good laugh with my fellow agents about the training. We checked the box, it can briefed we completed the training. My opinion, someone did not think the training through very well.
It does bring up a valid concern. What is the response plan for LEOs besides the obvious? Do you know who all the LEOs are your building? Does your building have armed security guards or police officers guarding the building? Who are the visiting LEOs in your building? Is it a fellow agent/officer who is the active shooter? Everyone moving to the sounds of the gun sets up a perfect blue on blue scenario. However locking yourself in a storage closet with only your blackberry for light is also not the right answer.
07-01-2012, 19:19 #8Lieutenant
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
- In counseling...
You said it...
when shots are ringing out...it will take a lot of discipline to hold your ground...grab the civilians you can help...keep them safe...and stay where you are...because to everyone else...you are nothing but a man/woman with a gun...
As for the training modules...our resident field division idiot retired this week...there is evidently some higher form out there somewhere I guess...anyway...one of his emails recently mentioned a tight travel and training budget...thank goodness because the training is horse crap anyway...but he suggested we look to improve our professional lives through the online training universe available to us...in lieu of actual training...his picture would be under the definition of stupid...CC"Every hero becomes a bore at last." Ralph Waldo Emerson