Single Officer Response – The Next Evolution of Police Training

Approximately one week after the devastating events surrounding the Pulse Nightclub terror attack in Orlando, Florida, I found myself assisting as an adjunct instructor with my department’s training unit, specifically training officers in Single Officer Response to Active Shooters. This was my first time assisting since the Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting. I found the training to be incredibly timely and tried to instill in the students that the Single Officer Response scenarios they would be running were on the cutting edge of law enforcement training. It was also likely that officers in the room were subjected to similar “ground breaking” training in the early 2000s after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. Single Officer Response is “The QuAD” of the new generation.

The Next Evolution of Police Training

The 10 years following Columbine, we saw the evolution of “The QuAD” formation as a way to respond to active shooters and mass casualty events.

  • QuAD stands for Quick Action Deployment.
    • Four officers enter the situation posing a high threat.

Response times dropped to mere minutes during incidents like the Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook shootings.

The Priorities of Life, that we as officers adhere to, were now more than just text in an academy classroom.

  • Hostage and civilian lives are of a higher priority than the officer.

Resistance Stops The Killing

  • Simply stated, armed resistance stops the killing.
  • It has become obvious that an interruption of the mass killer’s plan has a major impact on the number of deaths from the point of the interruption forward.
  • The plan MUST be interrupted as quickly as possible.
  • Single Officer Response training aids in the completion of that goal.

It is necessary to respond quickly, because we now know that time is our biggest enemy in these situations. The longer the killer is allowed to go-about his plan unhindered, the higher the death toll will rise.

The Single Officer Response Course

The Single Officer Response course offered by Guardian Defense addresses this issue. The tactic, although fairly advanced, is learned quickly. The tactic is fluid, allowing single officers to pair with other responding officers and quickly work together or separate and widen the hunt should they come upon a “fork in the road”, as they clear the building.

Advantages, Compared to QuAD

  • The QuAD was slow, cumbersome and over-exposed multiple officers to a single attack.
  • The Single Officer Response training focuses on speed and confronting the threat as quickly and safely as possible.
  • Confronting the offender and stopping the threat is not the only benefit of moving quickly.
  • Quicker rescues for injured.

I believe that the Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting will give cause for departments to realize this last point. Police are in the business of saving lives, which is done by both ending the threat and by rescuing victims in a timely manner.

In Conclusion

The QuAD has been our bread and butter for years, but if you’re not moving forward you are standing still. Departments around the country are responsible for training officers on the most viable, realistic tactics available, especially for events such as the Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting or San Bernardino Terrorist Attack. The instruction received during the Single Officer Response to Active Shooter training is just that. Are you (or your officers) moving forwarding and confronting the threat, or standing still?

Do You Want To Learn More?

For some instant access to information about preparing for an Active Threat, visit our homepage and scroll down to the video to watch our Free Training: 5 Immediate Actions You MUST Know When Confronted By an Active Shooter!

To schedule a consultation with one of our safety experts, click here.

About Dustin Miller

Dustin H. Miller currently works with Guardian Defense as an Instructor. Mr. Miller has worked with teachers, administrators and staff during the scenario-based exercises of the active shooter training since the inception of the company. He is also a certified law enforcement officer with a range of experiences in investigations and tactical operations. He is currently a Detective in the Special Victims Unit and serves as an Instructor for the SWAT team. Mr. Miller is married to a first grade public school teacher, whom he met while obtaining his Bachelor?s Degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida.