SWAT options for multiple shooter terrorist attacks
Lt. Andrew Esposito
January 13, 2010
New York Tactical Officers Association — The threat of an international terrorist attack against our country is not to be taken lightly by law enforcement professionals. In fact, I see it being taken very seriously in the New York Metropolitan area; agencies are meeting, communicating and taking proactive steps to counter potential terrorist efforts.
As professional police officers we are all aware of the threat. The training is out there to provide information and resources on how to deal with terrorism, whether it is domestic or foreign. In this article I would like to address one area that I feel we in law enforcement need to take action on immediately. The immediate employment of police officers to a terrorist attack as first responders is inevitable; I believe that the one thing that is not being addressed is what is going to happen to those first responding officers. We train our police officers in rapid deployment tactics which will serve them well against a violent act by a lone gunman, or even the likes of Harris and Klebold (Columbine shooters). But let’s face it, police officers employing rapid deployment tactics against a hardened target defended by a determined enemy with automatic weapons, interlocking fields of fire and hand grenades will not fare well. There is a high likelihood that the assault will be turned away, and at a bloody cost.
[efoods]The countries in which these attacks occurred, permit (and expect) their military to operate within their borders. We, on the other hand, follow the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (meaning “the power of the county”), which was passed following the civil war after the federal government used troops to uphold the law, or “occupy”, the south in an effort to stabilize the country. Due to this statue, which was passed over one hundred years ago, our country is now more vulnerable.
An attack by international terrorists on our soil is an act of war. Our military is prepared to act on such an attack, but unfortunately due to Posse Comitatus, their response will be slow, and too late. If the military is not allowed to properly prepare to conduct a tactical resolution to a mass hostage siege, then that mission is left to local law enforcement.