Unprepared and Overwhelmed
If there is something to take away from this event, it is that you need to be prepared, NOW. Too many people think that an event like the Parkland shooting will never happen at their location. For the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and school district, they thought the same thing until February 14th, 2018.
Overview of the Parkland Shooting
On February 14th, 2018 a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School would bring an AR-15 into the school, killing 17 students and staff members, while injuring 17 more.
Thanks to Officer Michael Leonard of the Coconut Creek Police Department, the shooter would be taken into custody 82 minutes after the event began. Officer Leonard spotted the assailant after he had escaped the scene by blending in with the students.
What Went Wrong
Even though the school had an emergency preparedness plan set in place, known as Code Red, it wasn’t initiated and placed into action soon enough. Whether it was a lack of training, the uncertainty of the situation, or the inability to do so, it happened far too late.
Despite seeing the gunman approach the school and enter, it took trained staff members and students 5 minutes and 32 seconds to finally call a Code Red. Unfortunately, the shooting had already caused a fire alarm to go off, which caused some members of the building to enter the hallways in a panic.
If the Code Red had been initiated sooner, students would have remained in hiding, which may have helped save the lives of more students. There were plenty of opportunities that trained school staff failed to execute upon.
Additionally, the response times of the Police Officers reflected poor training as it took them far too long to enter the building. Since the Columbine Shooting, Law Enforcement Officers are trained to rush towards the shooting, to neutralize the threat. From the time in which the shooting began, until the last classroom was searched, it took over 58 minutes.
If you want to view the progression of the shooting, which includes live audio and video during the event, check out this interactive article posted by SunSentinel.