Evaluation of Law Enforcement Organizations’ Response to Active Shooter Incidents

The Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted an evaluation to determine whether Department of Defense law enforcement organizations, such as the U.S. Army Military Police, Naval Security Forces, and Pentagon Force Protection Agency, had established effective active shooter response policies, plans, and training. The report revealed a problematic lack of an active shooter response and training standard, which officials worry may “result in a delayed and uncoordinated response that could increase casualties” at military facilities and installations.

According to the report, there are five existing policies related to active shooter situations, but no consistent, overall protocol. The five current policies, “although related to emergency management, arming of personnel, lessons learned, incident response plans, and training, only provide minimal active shooter incident response requirements.” This concerning absence of a strong strategy, particularly regarding the use of force, contributed to law enforcement officers not meeting the expectations set forth in the policies already in place.

As part of the evaluation, the OIG proposed several recommendations to address these deficiencies, including updating the preexisting guidelines for active shooter response procedures, as well as standardizing the current directives for the use of force, arming, training, and equipment requirements for law enforcement organizations. Furthermore, the report suggested to publish lessons learned in the aftermath of active shooter incidents, such as those at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, and Naval Air Station Pensacola, into a centralized Joint Lessons Learned Information System. The OIG notes that management officials have not fully agreed with or resolved their recommendations and strongly encourages them to take action as soon as possible.

You can read the full report here.


For more resources related to this piece, check out HSDL’s Featured Topics on Active Shooters and Lone Wolf Terrorism or other resources related to active shooters and law enforcement.  Please note an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

Need help finding something? Ask one of our librarians for assistance!