Update: Although this post was put up in late 2015, it still vies for most popular post on this blog for all of 2016 to date. The FBI Criminal Investigation crowd regularly check in, I suppose when they are sent a link to this post from an interested party, usually any number of local government offices around the country, and especially school districts of every level, also so very many colleges and universities, some small, but so many of the more famous also Ivy League schools. They are all interested in getting trained up. This is not something one could have expected even a year ago. This is a small blog, but perhaps it is also a kind of barometer in its own way.
=== Original post follows with added videos at the end ===
The FBI put out a 30 minute training movie (was 40) to help local law enforcement be prepared for active shooter situations, when logistics on the ground can save more lives than actual men on the ground. The idea is to get everyone to work together to bring an incident to a dead calm that rejoices in the greatest possible number of those who remain alive. We need to do what we can to help in whatever way we can. There is, as it the title suggests, by all human calculation, a “Coming Storm.”
Here’s something a fellow priest shared with me. The FBI Citizens’ Academy course might be helpful in dealing with those who manifest sometimes predictable if unhelpful critical incident reactions. That’s important to ongoing rescues, gleaning information from survivors, getting those losing it focused. It only takes a word or two rightly placed, but that’s the tricky part. For that tricky part, some of the course has been prepared by The Johns Hopkins University and Loyola College in Maryland.
I could have used that knowledge way back in the day when I was taking a TWA flight from Rome to New York, and twenty some Arab-looking terrorists (sorry for the profiling) reported while we were flying over Iceland that they wanted to blow up the plane then and there. Obviously they didn’t down the plane. I’m writing this now, right? But, at the time, all the stewards and stewardesses crowded around my seat and asked if I could have just a wee chat with the terrorists. I was forever after great friends with everyone at TWA. I’m sorry to have seen them go bankrupt.
The point is, some of you can do something. And you never know when it will be you who needs to come forward. At this stage, however, it is more about when than if. You know, “The Coming Storm,” and all that. Don’t say that there are professionals to do all that for us all the time. No, that’s just not how it works out in the real world in real time. And you know it. Ask about this program. If it’s not something you are up to doing, they won’t hesitate to tell you.
For myself, while going through the meat of the course, I don’t know if I’ll actually sit through the program and go through the adjunct certification for weapons, etc., which is a necessary part of the course. The truth is that even if someone said I’m a sharpshooter since I was a 12 year old kid (but that was a long-rifle), I think I have terrible aim with a gun, especially the CCW type, though I’ve never tried. I just have a mental block about it. I think I’ve seen too much hell in my lifetime. I do have a good dozen people, of all backgrounds and faiths, who want to help me out with training in these days. All experts, some with ineffable military backgrounds. Maybe I’ll take them up on the offer, if not just for the good time of it all… Maybe.
O.K. Did I get you? It is also this kind of mental block that the course is designed to deal with, getting behind critical incident reactions, however delayed, however persistent, however much presenting at inappropriate times, as mentioned at the beginning of this post. :¬) Just ask about the course.