GREENSBORO, N.C. – Preventing a mass shooting event in the Piedmont may be impossible to do, but Deputy Chief Mike Richie emphasizes law enforcement does train and plan for a prompt response.
“Every year, the state of North Carolina, since the Columbine disaster, is required active shooter response, which means that we actually do train for these exact incidents,” Richie said.
The state requirement is 24 hours of annual training for various avenues in law enforcement such as active shooter, community relations and race relations. Richie said that Greensboro police officers go through about 52-56 hours of training.
Richie explained in the immediate active shooter crisis, an officer’s job is to first neutralize the attack, cater to the wounded and then, following the initial attack, protect the evidence.
Whether it’s a concert, national festival or homecoming event, planning among law enforcement and first responders begins six months to near a year in advance. Part of that planning is for public safety, exit strategies and response.
“We can’t prevent everything, we know that, it’s been shown time again, but once we have the plan in place, we also have the training and experience to if, God forbid, this happens here,” Richie said.