Atlanta's top cop addresses council in wake of Vegas massacre
ATLANTA - Atlanta's top cop explained the changes she is making to her Crisis Response Teams in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. It's called Critical Incident Planning.
Chief Erika Shields in a candid conversation with top city officials admitted the security playbook has to be rewritten to respond to that kind of violence.
The chief used a term in looking at that complicated police incident in Las Vegas. She called it "Heartburn." That's what she said she got in looking at that incident. Of course, it is up to Shields and first responders to come up with a remedy in terms of a comprehensive playbook.
“We have got to be prepared for whatever,” Shields told city officials Tuesday.
There was no sugar coating by the top cop of Atlanta when city council members asked the “What if?” question.
“How would we respond and what is our ability to respond?" asked Council Member Michael Julian Bond as Shields.
"Well, I think the response would be highly coordinated. I think when I look at Vegas, I think, 'Oh my god, where do you take 500 people that are injured and in need of medical care?' So, I think That's an area that we need to work more closely with is to figure out how we would triage," Shields responded.
The what and how could local law enforcement prepare if a gunman tried to pull off a rapid-fire assault in the city.
“I know for us, of course, after Vegas, the immediate thing is ‘Okay, we really have to put more effort into aerial patrol and visualization during these events,” said Shield.
From up high, police snipers would have to be ready to take out a shooter from above. On the ground special tactical officers, who were training earlier this month, are getting prepared to play multiple roles.
“We had a tendency of really ‘crunch time.’ We were really good at doing some last-minute practicing and executing well. But it has to be year round, every day. I knew the only way that was going to happen is if someone is responsible for it,” said Shield.
One of the things the specially trained officers are being trained on is a step beyond first aid, rendering care in a dangerous situation and under dangerous circumstances when firefighters and EMTs can’t go in yet.