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The different regulatory reforms that have involved, in recent years, the field of security have had a profound effect on the role and powers of the Police Forces, (State and Local) of the use of the Armed Forces in public security tasks on sensitive targets, and the Supervisory Institutes.

The relevance of these roles and competencies for the protection of public safety, the orderly and civil coexistence in the cities and in the territory of the Municipalities, has consequently been further increased. Today more than ever, not only the first responders (primarily local law enforcement agencies and staff of the Supervisory Institutes, but also Fire / EMS units) are called upon to express, on a daily basis, professional skills of the highest level, in terms of technical ability, specialization, flexibility and awareness of one's own function.

Every day we see a crescendo of criminal activities that increasingly involve citizens, even en masse. The tragic international events of Mumbay, Nairobi, Paris, London, Nice, Monaco and Las Vegas have shown that first responders are not always there and cannot always guarantee a quick intervention. We have seen it happen abroad in France, in Germany, in Great Britain believing that, despite the involvement of some of our compatriots, it was a question of distant problems, which do not concern us directly.

Unfortunately, the casuistry leads us to have to deal with a rather worrying local reality that has left (and continues to leave) a long trail of victims.

We are talking about dynamic events that vary greatly between them both in terms of execution and motive. And for this extremely unpredictable.

The only certain element is given by the victims, people who "are in the wrong place at the wrong time".

Contrary to what happens in the United States, in Italy we have a reduced case of "mass shooting" or shootings against a grouping of people while episodes proliferate in which more disparate instruments are used, above all easy to find to cause the greatest possible damage: stinging sprays, knives, blunt objects, vehicles used as ram.

The observations proposed in our trainings do not distinguish between episodes of crime, madness or terrorist actions: consider the problem in its practical aspects and evaluate what are the possible solutions that an ordinary person can adopt to avoid danger or minimize damage.

Over the years, international protocols have been created that can be easily applied by everyone and that take into account the multiple fields of application (schools, hospitals, places of worship, workplaces, shopping centers, public urban areas).

As for the fire and first aid courses, we want to provide information, prevention and action elements useful to increase the chances of survival while awaiting the intervention of the Order's Forces.

Essential, therefore, are the immediate intervention procedures addressed to all those, whether they are employees of private companies or public administrations, simple visitors to the CDs. SOFT TARGET (NDR. DO NOT EXIST SOFT TARGET), which they must implement to save their lives.

An ACTIVE SHOOTER is defined by the US Department of Homeland Security as one or more individuals determined to kill or attempt to kill civilians in a limited and densely populated area. In most cases, ACTIVE SHOOTERS use firearms and there is ALWAYS a method for selecting victims and targets.


In the last 15 years, in the rest of the world, there have been 511 major incidents, which have produced a very high number of victims.

Most of these cases occurred in places where the shooter was very determined and found no obstacles (countermeasures) to carry out his attack. The objectives have often been described as "easy" targets (soft targets) with limited active security measures or armed personnel (security or local police forces) to provide protection for the civilians present.

In most cases, the ACTIVE SHOOTERS, have been neutralized by the police, security forces or CCW / LeO on the spot, more occasionally surrendered when they found themselves with a direct comparison with the intervention departments. NEVER resorted to negotiation (it does not fall within the objectives of the ACTIVE SHOOTER).

According to the New York City Police Department, through the NYPD SHIELD, for statistics, 46 percent of the accidents recognized as ACTIVE SHOOTERS are terminated by the application of lethal force by the police or by security officers on the spot in the first critics instants of the event, with the fewest or no civilians involved, 40 per cent ending with the shooter's suicide, 13 per cent of the time the shooter surrenders or, in less than 1 per cent of cases, the violence ends with the escaping aggressor. Only in rare cases the identity of the AS remained unknown.

The events of ACTIVE KILLER have caused a change in operational protocols (standard operating procedures) in the training on "FIRST RESPONDER" intervention tactics for police officers and security agents.

Many Police Academies, including the National Academy of Quantico, DHS, associations such as the NTOA, IALEFI, ILEETA, IALEIA, the University of Texas (ALERRT) and all the major training companies, in a study on RESPONSE to ACTIVE SHOOTER –Strategos International, ALICE Training, TeamOneNetwork, ICE Training, SRP, have established that aggressive action (counterattack) - even by a single individual, even unarmed, operator or civil - is the most effective IMMEDIATE countermeasure to stop the ACTIVE KILLER.

It should be noted that civilians without defense capabilities and free gun zones or places without an active Security accounted for half of the targets to be attacked.

The US Department of Homeland Security in 2012, starting from a work in the early 2000s by Blair and Crane, published a set of guidelines for education and training for ACTIVE SHOOTER situations in two protocols:

(1). By creating an online training module (IS) for NON staff of law enforcement, security or armed forces (NCO-CIVILIAN)

(2) through the development of a training program for law enforcement, security personnel and the military.

The scenarios of ACTIVE KILLER increase, unfortunately coming out of the United States, arriving in Europe, in Italy in Asia and in the Far East, without distinction if ACTIVE KILLERS can have direct or indirect access to firearms and not always using only weapons by fire.

Institutions like schools, government agencies, and private sector companies are opting to have security experts specializing in ATR to provide threat and risk assessment services as well as Active Threat Response Training for their staff.

On-Location Responders play a fundamental role in the initial moments of an attack, before an intervention by territorial police forces and then special departments, when most incidents occur (in the first 7/10 minutes).

On-site people who are properly trained can quickly assess the threat, use the covers and evacuation safely when possible, or barricade themselves and hide from the shooter.

Collective resistance tactics can be used as ultimate "Last Option" survival measures to fight the shooter and take control of their weapon.

Serious pre-accident training can save many lives.

By: Luca Paccariè

Official Member of IPO Section Italy

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