In the weeks since the Stoneman Douglas shootings, much public attention has focused on the action or inaction of the Broward County Sheriff’s deputies. There was at least one, and by some accounts there were four, deputies who remained outside the school building during Nikolas Cruz’ rampage, awaiting the arrival of the Coral Springs Police.
Until the Columbine school shooting in 1999, it was standard protocol for much of law enforcement around the U.S. that an ‘active shooter’ was not to be engaged by officers except with massive coordinated force. What this meant in practice was that officers would often end up waiting outside places of crisis until specialists such as SWAT teams could arrive.
The Thing to Know:
Columbine was 19 years ago and much has changed. Still, it is possible (investigations continue) that the deputies outside Stoneman Douglas were inactive because they had been trained in the old style, because Broward County has not yet ‘gotten the memo.’