Op-Ed: Active shooter events - our world today

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Chief Steve Sutton
Lake Forest Park Police
By Chief C. Stephen Sutton
Lake Forest Park Police Department

In light of the Parkland/Stoneman Douglas High School shooting a few weeks ago and the Great Mills High School shooting yesterday in St. Mary's County, there has been an increase in questions about police agencies and active shooter responses.

What does that mean for Lake Forest Park?

First, our citizens should understand that our department follows, practices and trains to current protocols and training for Active Shooters and responses using the ALERRT national standard. This standard has been adopted by the FBI and many agencies across the country, including the King County Sheriff’s Office. Our training is on-going and relevant.

Second, LFPPD trains every year and addresses Active Shooter Events and Responses (ASER) as part of our on-going yearly training. In November 2017, we jointly hosted at the LFP Town Center one of the largest ASER training events in the region to focus on threat response in a commercial environment as well as focusing on Rescue Task Forces (RTF) and Warm Zone extractions with our Fire/Rescue partners. Embedded in that was supervisor and command staff training, to train supervisors in using the Incident Command System (ICS) in conjunction with this type of event.

Third, LFPPD takes all threats seriously and if presented with active intelligence about a threat or threatening person or group, will utilize available assets and resources to investigate and act upon the threat(s). As a department, we work closely with our partners at Shoreline PD as well as risk management staff at the Shoreline School District.

Fourth, LFPPD leads the way in regard to ASER training. We began our training in the last decade and have continued since then. We recognize the need and with the support of the City Council as well as the Shoreline School District and local businesses, we regularly train to potential threats. We frequently train with our elementary schools on lockdown and active shooter drills. We train our citizens on Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE). Finally, we train with our fire and rescue personnel for RTFs and Warm Zone extractions and were one of the first agencies to adopt this and work with those concepts.

The Lake Forest Park Police Department leads the way in regard to Active Shooter Events and Responses. As an agency that values and encourages continuous training, we embrace what we have learned but continue to train to meet the changing threats and responses at all levels of the department. That training translates to real value to our citizens and region and they can be proud of what our state accredited agency has and will continue to do with ASERs and other active threats. Please remain vigilant at home, at work, and where you travel.


Anonymous,  March 22, 2018 at 6:10 AM  

As a citizen, I appreciate what local law enforcement does to prepare for such horrible situations. Sadly, it's not enough. Our state needs to ban assault rifles and assault rifle ammunition, raise the age for buying firearms and expand mental health treatment. This will truly show our children that we care.

Anonymous,  March 22, 2018 at 4:58 PM  

I recently attended a Crisis Reality Training presented by Jesus Villahermosa. I encourage high school PTAs and Booster clubs to engage him for a presentation for parents and students. Very informative! Useful information even though we all want to never have to use it.

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