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The Police Chief Update
May Issue  
JUNE 2016 ISSUE
Mass casualty attacks are challenges for law enforcement and communities around the world. High-profile attacks, such those in Paris, France; San Bernardino, California; Brussels, Belgium; Boston, Massachusetts, and elsewhere, have brought this topic to the forefront of discussions about homeland security, law enforcement, and international cooperation. Regardless of the weapons used, the location of the attacks, or the intents of the attackers, these tragedies tear apart families and shake people’s sense of security. Law enforcement is using the lessons learned to develop tools and methods to effectively protect communities from targeted violence and mass casualty attacks.

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FEATURES

The largest civilian shooting U.S. history—the July 2012 theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado—brought a number of challenges to the first responders from the various local, state, and federal agencies that were involved during and after the event. The lessons learned regarding the use of numerable jurisdictions and disciplines in the response to a mass shooting can assist chiefs and sheriffs better prepare for the unthinkable.

Many people would likely assume that officers are more resilient that the general population—and they may be. However, law enforcement personnel are exposed to many more risks of abuse, injury, and death that the average citizen, and the trauma of a mass casualty incident can leave lasting effects on officers’ mental health. There are things chiefs can do before a mass casualty attack ever happens to strengthen their agencies, building resiliency in their officers, and prepare for an incident.

Whether due to the existence of international terrorist organizations or the continued threat of a lone wolf gunman who indiscriminately opens fire in public venues, people in the United States—and around the world—now fear for their safety like never before. A public education campaign that informs citizens of the risks that they currently face and instills a degree of confidence that response plans are in place is one of the most cost-effective strategies of managing public fear that is available to law enforcement agencies at every level. By rebuilding citizen confidence through accurate and reliable information, governments can reduce both the levels of fear citizens develop in response to a terrorist attack and the overall effectiveness of the terrorists’ activities.



COLUMNS AND DEPARTMENTS

Community Engagement: A Key Element in Community Safety

IACP Announces Support for Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act

Addressing Contactless Fingerprint Capture

Access the Latest Tools in This Month’s Police Chief Magazine


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