Using lessons from Parkland, Miami-Dade drills for the worst

Training starts for how to handle mass casualty incidents

DORAL, Fla. – Miami-Dade County police began a special training course for all of its officers Monday on how to handle a mass casualty incident, using lessons from the Parkland school shooting.

On Monday, officers addressed how to best respond to an active shooting situation. Instructors stressed moving in as quickly as possible to resolve the threat – something that was not done at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year when 17 people were killed and more than dozen others were wounded. Deputies there waited almost seven minutes to engage the gunman. 

Miami-Dade police want to learn from the missteps of the agencies who responded to Parkland shooting.

"We've learned that, in some cases, one solo officer may need to go in there to resolve the incident or stop that attacker," said Sgt. Manny Malgor with the Miami-Dade County Police Department.

The memo notifying every Miami-Dade officer he or she will go through mass casualty attack training spells out the No. 1 priority: "Stop the killing."

Without divulging tactical maneuvers, Miami-Dade police officials said it's all about evaluating the situation, clearing the location step by step, staying in constant communication and, finally, dominating the scene and the threat.  

Future training sessions will address other types of mass casualty incidents, such as a terrorist attack.

"We know from around the country and around the world, there are subjects, unfortunately, stabbing people or hitting them with machetes, running over them with vehicles or using explosive devices," Malgor said.

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