Is Your Staff Prepared For A Possible Public Tragedy?

National Police Training
January 8, 2013 — 1,534 views  
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Tragedy usually comes unannounced and out of the blue. As such, it is difficult to be prepared for any tragedy. However, human beings have a few skills that enable them to deal with tragedies. Knowing how to react in stressful situations can come in handy in managing such tragedies.

Training for Ensuring Readiness

Law enforcement professionals can be trained in order to increase their readiness to respond, thus enabling them to handle tragedies better. In today’s world, police officers are trained meticulously in every field – starting from driving to evidence handling. Proper training in handling public tragedy situations will enable officers to present spontaneous reflex-like reactions to situations that would otherwise seem overwhelming. The repetitive nature of training instills professionalism in the officers and reduces randomness in their actions.

If there has been thorough training, then an officer might not find many scenarios outside those that were dealt with in the training sessions, thus reducing the terror of facing such situations and increasing effectiveness in handling them.

Being Ready - Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally

Being ready in all aspects is the key to handling traumatic situations. Here are a few tips on how to be ready to handle public tragedies:

° Simulate past tragedies and train the officers in the responses that are most appropriate to those situations.

° Be thoroughly familiar with the locations where public tragedies are likely or prone to happen. This includes schools and open public areas like malls, train stations, etc.

° rain the officers to be emotionally prepared to accept the fact that they cannot do anything to prevent the first shot from being fired. Even if there is a way to save people from getting hurt from that first shot sometimes, that may not always be the case. Officers should not fall apart at the fact that they could not save that person.

° Always carry around medical kit so that immediate medical attention or at least first aid can be given at the spot of the tragedy if needed.

° Train officers in the use of tools that enable forced entry into a building. Always carry such tools, like pry bars and sledge hammers, to the crime scenes so that there is no difficulty in forcing an entry if required.

° Officers should be well-trained in the “search-and-clear” methodology. They should be able to search the area for criminals quickly but scrupulously.

° Officers should be trained to be in the crime scene in civil clothes. This means being unidentifiable by the criminals, but being identifiable by the civilians.

° If there has been a tragedy, then the public response would be overwhelming. Officers should be emotionally trained to handle such response.

° And of course, preparing officers physically and mentally in the use of ammunition is of paramount importance. Body armor is also a must. Tactical armor is an even better alternative.


Handling public tragedy would certainly never be easy. But if one is prepared enough, then it can be made less problematic. One would be less confused and find better solutions. Especially for law enforcement personnel, being ready is always imperative as they not only have to take care of themselves, but others as well.

National Police Training