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AUGUST 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 8

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AUGUST 2021 Blues Vol 37 No. 8 • FEATURE: Tim Miller, LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD • FEATURE: Texas EquuSearch • FEATURE: Stories of the FBI • FEATURE: Who wants to be a COP • FEATURE: Texas Sheriff's Convention • WARSTORY: Death of a Policeman's Dream • ISLAND TIME: Take a Trip to Galveston • OPEN ROAD: Hennessey Summons Exorcist • BADGE OF HONOR: Leadership Starts with You • DARYL'S DELIBERATIONS: What Does Liberty Look Like • LIGHT BULB AWARD: Seattle AGAIN • BLUE MENTAL HEALTH: Supporting the Mental Health of our Corrections Officers • CONCERNS OF POLICE SURVIVORS: Remembering Fort Worth Officer Henry "Hank" Nava, Jr. • JOB LISTINGS: Hundreds of New Job Openings Across the State

“The first person I

“The first person I would ask if I wanted to know how to stop the killing from mass shootings would be Katherine Schweit.” — Richard C. Hunt, MD, FACEP, Senior Medical Advisor U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Former Director for Medical Preparedness Policy, National Security Council Staff If you review the FBI report on active shooter incidents from 2000-2019, you will find that in 277 incidents, there were 2,430 casualties, including 1,546 wounded and 877 deaths. We have seen recent spikes in mass shootings in 2021 already. What is the answer? How can we limit or stop the increasing number of mass shooters? In this episode of Policing Matters, host Jim Dudley speaks with attorney Katherine Schweit, who spent 20 years with the FBI as a Special Agent executive. After the Sandy Hook massacre, she was assigned to head the FBI’s active shooter program where she authored the FBI’s seminal research, A Study of 160 Active Shooter Incidents in the United States, 2000-2013. Through her extensive experience, Schweit has become an expert in active shooters, mass shootings, and security policies and procedures. She is the author of the book, “Stop the Killing: How to End the Mass Shooting Crisis” set to be released by Rowman and Littlefield on August 15, and runs Schweit Consulting LLC, providing leadership counseling, security advice and safety training to hospitals, businesses, religious organizations, educators and government clients. Click here to read an excerpt from the book. Jim Dudley (00:05): If you take a look at the FBI report on mass shootings from the years 2000 to 2018, you will find that in 277 incidents, there were 2,423 casualties, including 1,546 wounded and 877 deaths. We’ve seen spikes in mass shootings recently already in 2021. What’s the answer? How can we limit or stop the increasing number of mass shooters? Do we create more gun laws? Well, Illinois has strict gun laws and yet the number of homicide rates are among the highest every year, especially in the Chicago area. Do we limit access to the mentally ill? How do we define mental illness? What about those who have not been diagnosed? Well, Katherine Schweit is a lawyer and former FBI executive who currently teaches law classes at DePaul and Webster universities. She spent 20 years with the FBI and prior to that post she was a prosecutor in Chicago. After the Sandy Hook massacre, she was assigned to the head of the FBI’s active shooter program, where she stayed for five years. She authored FBI seminal research, a study of 160 active shooter incidents in the United States from 2000 to 2013. And through her extensive experience, Katherine has become an expert in active shooters, mass shootings, and security policies and procedures. She currently owns Schweit Consulting, LLC, providing leadership, counseling, security advice, and safety training to hospitals, businesses, religious organizations, educators, and government clients. She is the author of the book, “Stop the Killing: How to End the Mass Shooting Crisis.” Well, that is a tall task, and we can’t wait to hear what you’re going to say. Welcome to Policing Matters, Katherine Schweit. Katherine Schweit (01:09): Thank you so much. It’s an honor to be here. I appreciate you taking the time to listen to my points of view and hopefully I can provide your listeners with a little bit of insight. I know you’ve got a really sophisticated group of listeners, so I’m excited about this. Jim Dudley (02:28): Before we get started, can you give me and the audience an idea, get us on the same page if you will, with the definitions: active shooter versus mass shooter. Katherine Schweit (02:40): Great question. Because that is the question right now and when it comes to research. An active shooter, as your audience likely may know, is defined by the federal government – DHS, FBI, all the three-letter groups – as an individual, actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. So, you know, the essential elements to that are that it’s in a populated area, meaning potentially civilians could be injured who are unengaged and that it’s an attempted kill or killing. So, it’s the threat itself. And so, it’s different than a mass shooting. Mass shooting, first of all, has no federal definition. Mass killing does, under federal law, is three or more killed, but mass shooting has no definition. So, researchers and a lot of us have been working with academics and practitioners to get an exact kind of definition for a mass shooting, that really will include things that are, as you know, domestic situations and gangs and other kinds of violence where it’s just an individual discharging a firearm with premeditation to kill several people, and what that number is. We know it’s more than two, but we haven’t quite come up with that exact number. Although researchers generally use three or four to have a cutoff on when they’re doing the research. Jim Dudley (04:06): So as an active FBI agent, what was your involvement in tracking the active shooters? I would venture to say that with a multitude of databases that track mass shootings, both government, non-governmental and for-profit, nonprofit, I like to use the FBI UCR database, but why do we have so many different numbers coming from all these other places? Is there one reliable collection source? Katherine Schweit (04:37): Well, actually that’s exactly the problem that we faced after the Sandy Hook massacre. I had been put in charge of and given a lot of tax dollars to find answers to that question. So of course, I reached out to our people who keep the stats on uniform crimes in our criminal division. And we were looking for different ways to find that data within our own data. The Bureau is working on that. They’ve come up with new ways to track their data and put their data together so that it’s more incident-related, but they were really tracking data. Initially, for a long time, the FBI would track its data and say, if you had an incident that occurred at a bank, you’d have a bank robbery. And that would be one tick mark in the uniform crime stats about bank robberies. But if there was a shooting at the bank robbery, someplace else there’d be another tick mark about a person killed, and it wouldn’t necessarily cross over. And then if there was a car crash and people were arrested and it was involved in drugs, then it’s all these tick marks and all these different databases, and none of them crossing over. After Sandy Hook, that’s exactly what we faced. No uniform system used by researchers; no uniform systems used by the government agencies. And I’ll just add on top of that, that we weren’t looking for all shootings and all killings and all deaths and all threats. We were looking for this weird vexing, subset of types of incidents that really were these public shootings. Think about Aurora and Columbine and Texas Towers, these very vexing, public shootings and saying who is doing this and why. And that’s really why we came up with such different numbers, such unique numbers. Now I think researchers are recognizing we really did get to that baseline data that researchers are using now. And they rely on it all the time. Jim Dudley (06:45): So, the data is more reliable now is as good as we can get. Katherine Schweit (06:49): The information that the FBI used for their research was based on police reports and nobody else is able to pull police reports, but what we did, and what I said to my team is, look, if we can go out and ask our agents to go out personally to the officers and the departments that worked 42 The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE The BLUES POLICE MAGAZINE 43

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