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Without Warning: Understanding the Complexity of Active Shooter Incidents

The Conference Board of Canada, January 19, 2016
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Attacks in the US, Canada, and across the globe have demonstrated that active shooters differ widely in terms of who they are, what motivates them, and how their actions unfold. In Canada, the number of active shooter incidents is low and there are no indications of an upward trend. However, the relative lack of exposure to these tragedies also means less experience in responding to them and dealing with their major social impacts. So what can be done now to better prepare for these traumatic events?

Webinar Highlights

Join us for this important session as the Conference Board’s Director of National Security and Strategic Foresight, Dr. Satyamoorthy Kabilan, discusses findings from our recent briefing entitled 6 Key Insights on Active Shooter Incidents. Dr. Kabilan will explore the active shooter phenomenon, defining the term and offering insights into their behaviours and motivations. Though a clearly-defined profile of these attackers does not exist, we can identify some broad categories and aspects that active shooters may demonstrate. In addition, this session will identify six areas of importance for public and private stakeholders when considering active shooter incidents. They are:

  • Definitions—There is a need for more clarity around the language we use when responding to active shooter incidents.
  • Anti-government trend—The specific targeting of uniformed officials is a worrying phenomenon: raising awareness about it and possibly re-evaluating tactics may be useful.
  • Impacts—When dealing with active shooter threats and incidents, both the economic and psychological impacts can be significant and need to be carefully considered.
  • Resource Tracking and Sustainability—Responding to active shooter events is extremely resource-intensive. Resource tracking can enhance situational awareness among stakeholders and prevent further public confusion.
  • Communications—Given the speed with which active shooter incidents unfold, the ability to quickly share information between responding agencies as well as the public and private sector is crucial.
  • Public-Private Collaboration—Since active shooter incidents are often over before law enforcement arrives and frequently unfold in crowded public areas, optimizing public-private sector collaboration is vital to ensuring a timely, coordinated response effort.

About Dr Kabilan

Photo of Satyamoorthy KabilanDr. Satyamoorthy Kabilan is the Director, National Security and Strategic Foresight. Dr. Kabilan leads the National Security and Public Safety (NS&PS) team and strategic foresight practice. He provides leadership and oversight to all contract research and executive network activities. Dr. Kabilan co-founded and managed two technology start-ups and has been a leader in the UK’s Future Security and Intelligence Outlook Network (FUSION). In addition, he has been involved in developing the UK’s National Counter Terrorism Strategy (CONTEST), supported the capability development of the National Crime Agency, and worked on future force development for the UK’s Ministry of Defence.

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