To respond effectively to active shooter events, officers need to train in their tactics, firearm skills, and critical thinking under stress. The first officer on the scene needs to go inside quickly and locate the problem and do whatever it takes to solve it. After neutralizing the threat, they should transition to providing medical aid and trying to keep people from dying. Transcript: "So, how can officers respond more effectively to active shooter events? This is a real long topic, but I think one of the key components is officers need to train. They need to be proficient in their tactics. They need to be proficient in their firearm skills, and most importantly, they need to be proficient in critical thinking under stress because they're going to have to make a lot of decisions very fast in a very dynamic environment. When it comes to the response, the way we can make that the best is understand that when you get there, if you're the first officer on the scene and it's an active shooter event, you have to go inside. You're not going to be able to wait for backup. You're not going to be able to wait for all these resources to get there and help you out. Most likely as the first officer, you're going to need to go in either with yourself or maybe with just one or two other officers. You need to get in as fast as you can and locate the problem and then do whatever it takes to solve that problem. Then once you have neutralized that threat, instantly start transitioning your role to start rendering medical aid inside of the actual crisis site and trying to keep people from dying."
We prioritize which conferences or events to attend each year by looking at who the main attendees will be, what we can bring to the table, and whether there is a potential ROI for our business. Additionally, we always attend IACP. Transcript: "How do you prioritize which conferences or events to attend each year and what factors do you consider in making that decision? Great question. You know, there are so many different law enforcement and forensics related conferences that happen each year. And you know, there is no way that we could attend all of them. One just on a financial aspect of it, and then I'll just person out wise trying to have people attend each one. So what we look at is who are going to be the main attendees at this conference. Is it people that are going to be interested in getting our ballistics IQ solution? Is it our, is it forensics personnel? Is it crime scene investigators? Is it detectives? Is it chiefs of police? So first and foremost, we look at who is going to be the main audience. And then we look at, you know, what can we bring to the table at that conference? Are we just going to set up a booth and have people walk by and try to, you know, educate them on our solution and what we do? Or is there an opportunity for us to have a speaking role, not just in a quote unquote sales pitch, but talk about crime gun intelligence and tracing of firearms and the key evidence you can get off of the spent cartridge casings to highlight how we can help with that. And then we have to look at the ROI on the business aspect of it. How much is it going to cost to get there? How much is the booth? How much is our time involved? And are we going to potentially get sales out of it? So that's what we need to take a look at too, is, you know, what's, what's the bottom line figure? Is it going to be worth our while? Are we just going there to get our name out? So a lot of these, you know, we factor in, there are conferences we go to every year, no matter what, including IACP. But we have to look at what we can provide to it and what the attendees will get out of it."
Being an assistant special agent in charge prepared me for the role of special agent in charge by allowing me to shadow the special agent in charge and learn how to interact with various stakeholders, budget, personnel and corrective actions. I was also able to see what I liked and disliked about the role and create my own personal brand for the job. Transcript: "How did your experience as an assistant special agent in charge prepare you for the role as a special agent in charge? Well just like the name in titles, the assistant is the assistant to helping out that special agent in charge. Depending on the size of the field division, there's always one special agent in charge and then there could be one or two assistant special agents in charge. And as the assistant, I oversaw you know five to seven enforcement groups, some admin role, and then a lot of times I would act on behalf of the special agent in charge. If he was not able to attend a community function or some sort of meeting, that's where the assistant would step in and fill in for him. One of the ways that it really helped me is shadowing that special agent in charge. I got to see things you know just like in any role, what I would like to do and how I would handle myself. And then there's also things that you know I would see it's like no I wouldn't do it that way. You know I'm gonna do it my own way because I need to set an example for myself and also make my own personal brand and how I would want to do things. So you don't always just want to emulate what your boss does. You need to differentiate yourself and make it your own. But as being the assistant special agent in charge, you got to see a lot of the interactions that happen with the community, with chiefs of police, with assistant chiefs of police that I would be interacting with eventually. And then also a lot of the interactions with ATF headquarters budget and personnel and corrective actions and personnel actions. The SAC handled most of those but the ASAC got involved sometimes as well. So it was a learning position and it was a stepping stone to get into that special agent in charge job."
I've spoken at two industry conferences, one about how our Ballistics IQ solution can help solve homicides quicker and another about the success story of linking a crime gun to shell casings in 18 minutes. Transcript: "Have you ever presented or spoken at an industry conference or event? If so, can you describe your experience and the topic you discussed? Absolutely. I spoke at several. There were two key ones that I'd like to talk about. One was the Illinois Homicide Investigators Association conference, where one of the days after lunch, I was able to get up for 10 minutes and talk specifically about how our Ballistics IQ solution can help them solve homicides quicker. Basically, being able to provide them that real-time actionable intelligence can help them link these shootings together and identify their suspects quicker. That's what we're all about, is being able to provide these investigators this real-time intelligence and hopefully reduce shootings and homicides. Another conference, I was able to speak at the North Carolina Chiefs Association conference. Again, got up for about five minutes and was able to talk with them about specifically what Ballistics IQ can do with our triage solution, with our rapid ballistics, where we're able to, in a great success story, in 18 minutes, we were able to help an agency who had a homicide be able to link the crime gun that was recovered off of the suspect and then the shell casings that were recovered at the homicide. 18 minutes, we were able to provide to them a link between those two. They were right then able to go and confront that suspect where they were able to get a confession out of them. To me, being able to relate these real-time success stories to the individuals really makes it hit home and shows how our product is a true, viable solution to help them solve crimes quicker."
As a law enforcement officer, it is important to be proficient with tactics and firearms, to understand tactical medicine, to know the layout of high risk places, and to build relationships with leaders at these sites. Transcript: "All right, so what are some tips for preparing yourself for an active shooter situation? I'm going to answer this from a law enforcement officer perspective, not from a citizen preparedness perspective since that's kind of the group we're talking about. So as a law enforcement officer, some of the things you want to do is you want to make sure that you're obviously skilled and proficient with your tactics, specifically your solo officer tactics. You want to make sure that you're proficient with your firearm. That's going to be critical in these kinds of events. You want to make sure that you're up to speed on tactical medicine training because once you've engaged that threat, you're going to have to double back and start probably trying to treat injured people. Then once you're out in your patrol area, you want to know the layout of all the areas that you are responsible for that might be kind of high risk, like schools, shopping centers, some of the churches that are in your areas. These are all locations that are going to be most likely targets for an active shooter. So go ahead and get inside of those facilities, get an idea of the layout, see where the security rooms are, find out what kind of keys, what kind of access controls they have, and where do you get access to that during a critical event. And then meet with the leaders of those locations, find out what their plans are, find out what their policies are, and build that relationship with them now so that when you respond, you're better able to be effective."
The best way to stay safe during an active shooter situation is to maintain situational awareness and make the best decisions possible based on the immediate threat. Transcript: "So the question is, what's the best way to be able to stay safe if you find yourself in an active shooter situation? Now, I'm going to address this not from a perspective of law enforcement officer, but from a community aspect. And that's going to be maintaining situational awareness. An active shooter event is extremely chaotic, it's extremely dangerous, and it's very, very stressful. There's a lot of techniques and strategies that people will try and teach you to help keep you safe, claiming that that's the best way out there. But the best thing that you can do is be able to maintain critical thinking. Be able to analyze the scenario that you're in, your proximity to the shooter, and what the immediate threat is to you, and be able to make the best decision based on that. Whether that's trying to escape, whether that's trying to barricade yourself inside of a room, or whether that's fighting back against the shooter. There's an appropriate time and a place for each one of these. So the best thing that you can do to keep yourself safe is be able to identify when the correct time to do each one of those things is, and make the best decisions possible during that extremely chaotic, stressful event."