Tabletop exercise domestic violence shooter
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Tabletop Exercise Domestic Violence Shooter. Division for Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, and Institutional Research. Rules of the Road. Creativity/Group Problem Solving Use the knowledge and information available in the room Active Thinking Active Listening Active Participation

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Tabletop Exercise Domestic Violence Shooter

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Tabletop exercise domestic violence shooter

Tabletop ExerciseDomestic Violence Shooter

Division for Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, and Institutional Research

Rules of the road

Rules of the Road

  • Creativity/Group Problem Solving

  • Use the knowledge and information available in the room

  • Active Thinking

  • Active Listening

  • Active Participation

  • Respect –challenge ideas, not people

  • Reality Check – make the exercise real for you.



  • Introductions

  • Scenario

  • Description

  • Hot Wash (Debrief)

  • Action Planning



The exercise continuum

The Exercise Continuum

  • Drills

  • Tabletop Exercises

  • Functional Exercises

  • Full-Scale Exercises

How does a tabletop exercise work

How does a tabletop exercise work?

  • Scenario-based discussion, guided by a facilitator

  • Problems talked through without stress

  • Evaluators selected to observe and offer feedback on the proceedings

  • Policies, plans, and guidelines are updated

What is a tabletop exercise

What is a tabletop exercise?

  • Simulates an emergency situation in an informal, stress-free environment

  • Initiates discussion of emergency guidelines

  • Focuses on training and familiarization with roles, guidelines, and responsibilities

What determines the success of a tabletop

What determines the success of a tabletop?

  • A successful tabletop leaves participants with:

    • A positive learning experience

    • Organizational learning

    • Improvement action planning

    • More effective policies, plans, and guidelines

    • Improved preparedness

Exercise guidelines

Exercise Guidelines

  • This exercise is designed to test the preparedness of the _____ to respond to a multi-agency, multi-site emergency event

  • Following the exercise, there will be a debriefing time or “Hot Wash”

  • Each participant will be given the opportunity to share his/her views on what worked well and what needs to be addressed in additional planning, training and/or drilling

Exercise guidelines cont

Exercise Guidelines (cont.)

  • _____ISD/college policy shall govern all activities relating to the emergency event.

  • The facilitator shall serve as the exercise referee and will provide any official interpretation of the exercise rules.

  • Although we will not actually be contacting them, ISD/college and outside resources are available to assist you.

Exercise guidelines cont1

Exercise Guidelines (cont.)

  • From time to time, there will be injections to the scenario. These are intended to further assess response to the exercise scenario.

  • This is a learning experience.



  • To examine current policies, procedures, resources and actions in the context to a response to domestic violence/shooter in a school/college setting

  • To promote greater understanding and ability to apply NIMS/ICS principles in a college setting

  • To make improvements as identified as an outcome of the exercise



  • To evaluate policies and procedures

  • To evaluate command and control including communications procedures

  • To identify resources needed vs. available

  • To identify training needs

  • To identify needed improvements and create an action plan to address those needs

Demographic overview

Demographic Overview

  • On this slide, add bullets of information about the demographics of your school/college, including but not limited to:

    • Number of schools/facilities

    • Types of schools/facilities

    • Athletic facilities

    • Student population

    • Employee population

First responder resource overview

First Responder Resource Overview

  • On this slide, add bullets of information about the first responder resources immediately available to your school/college, including but not limited to:

    • Police

    • Fire

    • EMS

Threat assessment

Threat Assessment

  • On this slide, add bullets of information about the known threats to your school/college, including but not limited to:

    • Internal threats

    • External threats



  • As the students arrived at ______________ school on the first day after spring break, a woman is noticed entering through the bus entrance with the children. Because the teachers on bus duty recognize the woman as a parent and the spouse of the special education teacher, no one questioned her as she entered the building. The woman, however, did not report to the office but went to her husband’s classroom with the children.

Scenario continued

Scenario Continued

  • When the woman arrived in the classroom, she pulled a handgun from her purse and began screaming at her husband (her husband had told her the previous evening that he was going to file for divorce and petition for custody of their child.) The teacher shouted for the students to duck under their desks but before he could finish, his wife began shooting, hitting him three times in the stomach.

  • Upon hearing the gun shots, a teacher in a nearby classroom called the office. The principal activated the school’s emergency plan and ordered an immediate lock-down.



  • What do you need to know?

  • How do you find the information?

  • What does your EOP direct?

  • What are you going to do?



  • Where will you establish your Command Post for this incident?

  • After establishing command, what will you do first? Why?

  • What is your first concern in this situation?

  • For what contingencies must you plan?

Scenario inject 1

Scenario Inject # 1

  • The police are on their way but it will take several minutes. According to a teacher in an adjacent classroom, a male teacher who is a friend of the shooter and her husband went to the classroom in an attempt to calm the shooter. The teacher reports that she heard two more gunshots but is unsure if anyone was hurt. The teacher also says that she does not know the condition of the shooter’s husband, but says that she can hear the students in the classroom screaming and crying. The shooter also sounds hysterical. She is screaming, threatening to “burn the school down.”

Scenario inject 1 continued

Scenario Inject # 1 Continued

  • A custodian has told the secretary that he is going to sneak down the hallway to see if he can gather more information about what’s going on in the classroom.



  • What actions will you take?

  • Do you activate your school/college incident command?

  • What is your ICS structure?

Ics structure questions

ICS Structure Questions

  • Who is the Incident Commander?

  • Who is the Public Information Officer?

  • Who is the Liaison Officer?

  • Who is the Operations Chief?

  • What other ICS positions will you activate and who will fill them?



  • How does this information change your planning?

  • What should you do about the custodian?

  • How will you communicate an evacuation order to the teachers?

  • How will you evacuate the classrooms in close proximity to the shooter?



  • For what contingencies should you plan?

  • How will you notify parents? What will you tell them?

  • What does the fact that the male teacher placed himself at risk tell you about your school plan?

Scenario inject 2

Scenario Inject # 2

  • The police and a hostage negotiator have arrived at the scene. They have cordoned off the area surrounding the school. Fire personnel and several emergency medical service crews have also been dispatched to the school but, at this time, only one fire truck has arrived.

  • Just as the police arrive, the phone rings in the office. The shooter is calling to tell the principal to tell the police to go away. Then, the shooter hangs up the phone abruptly. The situation in the classroom is uncertain.

Scenario inject 2 continued

Scenario Inject # 2 Continued

  • Three teachers have sent runners who report that some of the younger children are extremely upset and requesting additional help.

  • Some parents have started to arrive, including the parents of several students in the classroom with the shooter. The mother of one student is sobbing uncontrollably and is demanding that “someone” do “something” to save her child.

Scenario inject 2 continued1

Scenario Inject # 2 Continued

  • The media have picked up the story and interrupted regularly scheduled programming with the news alert.



  • What information will you provide to the incoming Incident Commander (the senior officer) during your change-of-command briefing?

  • What will you do to help the teachers who have requested assistance?

  • How will you work with the police throughout the remainder of the incident?



  • Will you allow arriving parents to pick up their children? If yes, where will your parent/student reunification point be?

  • What will you do to calm the hysterical mother?

  • For what long-range processes must you plan?

Scenario inject 3

Scenario Inject # 3

  • It is now approximately 1½ hours since the incident started. Through the efforts of the hostage negotiator, the shooter has surrendered without further violence. Police are escorting her to a police vehicle

  • As the shooter surrendered, armed officers and the principal entered the classroom. They were immediate mobbed by the children, all of whom were crying loudly. The shooter’s husband is lying on the floor at the front the classroom and is covered in blood. It is not immediately clear if he is alive. The male teacher who had hoped to mediate the dispute, has also been shot but is able to speak to the police.

Scenario inject 3 continued

Scenario Inject # 3 Continued

  • Reporters are now on the scene from every local media outlet. Several are trying to interview teachers and students to see how they feel about the incident.

  • Additional parents have also arrived and are upset that they cannot pass beyond the police barrier to talk to school personnel and pick up their children.



  • What can you do to assist the police in calming the parents?

  • How will you handle the media?

Hot wash

Hot Wash

Hot wash1

Hot Wash

  • How well did your EOP operate and what actions will you take toward improvement?

  • How well did your ICS Team operate and what actions will you take toward improvement?

  • How well did your Communications Plan operate and what actions will you take toward improvement?

Hot wash2

Hot Wash

  • What can be done to improve campus police/security operations?

  • What internal divisions were required to work together in this scenario?

  • What external agencies did the Liaison Officer need to work with in this scenario?

  • Are all necessary agreements in place to facilitate cooperation among agencies?

Action plan

Action Plan

  • The lessons learned during this table top exercise will lead to a college action plan to:

    • Keep Doing ______

    • Stop Doing ______

    • Start Doing ______



  • The Texas School Safety Center, Division for Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, and Institutional Research is available for:

    • Training/Facilitation

    • Technical Assistance

    • Information

Contact us

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