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Rapid Responder Fills in the Blind Spots

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2008
2 pages
This article reports on the methodology and findings of a technical pilot project that tested the features and functions of Rapid Responder, a computer software that helps agencies coordinate the actions of emergency responders by collecting data on a targeted building and its environs as well as organizing data points in a user-friendly display.

The software was installed at Claremont High School (California) in August 2007 just before the start of a new school year and in time for the Claremont Police Department to practice using the system in its active-shooter training. Training results were so impressive that Claremont has submitted a grant application for the installation of Rapid Responder in all 12 public schools and 9 campuses in the school district. In the active shooter training, officers were divided into groups of four and instructed to move in a diamond formation (one officer leads, two officers assume flanking positions, and one brings up the rear) and sent through a battery of various scenarios in a cordoned-off section of Claremont High. Before each contingent of trainees began a training session, its members received a briefing on the layout of the classrooms and the courtyard using the software tool. During the training, officers maneuvered through the courtyard and classrooms seeking two active shooters. The Rapid Responder system can include information on evacuation plans, floor plans, utility shutoffs, and photographs. Such information assists in tactical planning for a rapid, effective response to active shooters in schools and other public buildings. The software can be loaded on a laptop, made accessible on the Internet, or be carried on CD-ROMS and flash drives, giving emergency responders ready access to the software‘s data.

Date Published: July 1, 2008