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Police: Shooting Response Reflects Change In Strategy

Law enforcement officers are using yesterday’s Tuesday’s response to the shooting at Clackamas Town Center as an example of a successful change in police strategy. 

Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson told OPB’s Think Out Loud on Wednesday that most of law enforcement now practices what he calls “scenario-based training” in businesses, schools, and malls.  He said police agencies changed their ways after the 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.  

“The old way, if you will, would have been to wait for a SWAT team to show up,” Simpson said. “The new thinking and what works is you get the first five or six officers there, and they’re gonna go in, and go toward the sound of gunfire.  They are going in there to stop that person from hurting anyone else.”

Simpson said the longer officers wait, the greater the chance that more people will be harmed.

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