PBSO ‘extremely well prepared' to handle active shooter situations, group says

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is “extremely well prepared” to handle and respond to an active shooter situation, according to the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).

PERF reviewed PBSO’s policies and practices following the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting at the request of Sheriff Ric Bradshaw to help ensure the agency is prepared to respond and prevent similar attacks, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.

“PBSO has provided deputies with effective equipment, put command personnel in place to oversee and lead critical incidents, trained investigators, partnered mental health professionals with highly trained deputies, and established relationships with many local, state and federal response partners,” according to the study.

The report included 27 recommendations, including clearer wording in self-deployment policies, stressing to deputies to only use their radios when necessary and training deputies in handling the mentally ill. 

The group found PBSO and the Palm Beach County School District Police Department did not train together for active shooter events prior to May 2018 and recommended the groups actively participate together. 

“Through current joint training, PBSO and School Police have re-established a good working relationship and will continue to train together,” Bradshaw wrote in the report. “Planning has already commenced for scenario based training exercises at various schools next year.”

Bradshaw noted he agrees with 18 of the recommendations, is considering seven, and marked “other” for two. PERF is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that conducts research and develops policies, programs, and training for law enforcement agencies.

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