Broward Cty Sheriff's Office Training Book: 'First Officer' On Scene To 'Immediately Go To Confront Shooter'

by MICHAEL W. CHAPMAN March 16, 2018

The training materials used by the Broward County Sheriff's Office -- the police department that first responded to the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., public school on Feb. 14 -- states that in an active shooter incident, "the first officer or two officers on scene will immediately go to confront the shooter," reported Judicial Watch, which obtained the training book through the Florida Sunshine Act.

However, as documented, the Broward County Sheriff's officers on the scene did not "immediately" go to confront the shooter. They waited outside. Seventeen people were killed in the slaughter, including an assistant footbal coach, Aaron Feis, who shielded students from the shooter with his body. He helped students escape and he saved lives.

When the shooting occurred, Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson, an armed school resource officer, was first at the scene. But he did not enter the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to confront the shooter, Nikolas Cruz.

Video image of Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson, an armedsecurity officer, standing outside the Marjory Stoneman DouglasHigh School in Parkland, Fla., Feb. 14, as students were killedor wounded inside the school. (YouTube). 

"Three other deputies also arrived on the scene but did not enter," said the Broward County Sheriff's Office. The training materials obtained by Judicial Watch direct "that if four officers are on the scene of an active shooter incident they are to form a 'quad' formation and enter the building." 

Further, regardless of the quad tactic, the training instructions call for officers at the scene to immediately confront the shooter.

"History shows when a suspect is confronted by any armed individual (police, security, concealed carry person) they either shoot it out with that person or kill themselves," read the training materials. "Either way, the shooting of innocent bystanders must stop."

"Now, the first officer or two officers on scene will immediately go to confront the shooter," states the lesson plan. (Emphasis added.)  "Military tactics work well in this situation. The two man 'bounding overwatch' is our response."

But the Broward officers did not "immediately go to confront the shooter." As Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel admitted at a news conference, "what I saw was a deputy [Peterson] arrive ... take up a position and he never went in."

Sheriff Israel said that Peterson should have "went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer."

"Remember, every time you hear a gunshot in an active shooter incident, you have to believe that is another victim being killed," states the training document.

The document lists "priorities of life." These are: "1)Hostages/victims; 2) Innocent Bystanders; 3) Police/deputies' and 4) Suspects."

"If in doubt about going through the door after a suspect, think about the victims and where they stand on the list," reads the document. 

Judicial Watch further reported, "The Broward County Sheriff's Office Standard Operating Procedure states: 'If real time intelligence exists the sole deputy or a team of deputies may enter the area and/or structure to preserve life. A supervisor's approval or on-site observation is not required for this decision.... If the situation turns to a barricade or hostage situation the response team will contain, isolate, communicate and wait for SWAT."

Commenting on the training materials, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, "These Broward County Sheriff's Office documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that the law enforcement agency failed the victims of the Parkland shooting victims."

"Lives were lost in Parkland because the Sheriff's Office personnel were either poorly trained or failed to follow training protocols," said Fitton.

Courtesy of     

Michael writes for He has worked as a writer for The McLaughlin Group; associate editor of Consumers' Research magazine; associate editor of Human Events; editorial page editor of The Lima News; journalism fellow for The Phillips Foundation; editorial writer and national issues reporter for Investor's Business Daily; and editorial director of the Cato Institute. Michael graduated with Special Honors in English (B.A.) from the University of Chicago. He lives with his wife, Claire, and their five children in Virginia.

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