The Department of Homeland Security recently issued training to armed Border Patrol Agents that in the case of an “active shooter” such as a workplace shooting, the agents should “run away and hide.”
Active shooter cases are those involving armed individual(s), whether in a workplace or mall or school. These are fluid incidents and law enforcement is now trained to act as swiftly as possible in these incidents to save as many innocents as possible.
“The Department of Homeland Security takes very seriously its responsibility to protect all of its employees from threats that may surface in the workplace,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel said in a written statement to FoxNews.com
“CBP workforce training is designed to prepare all employees, including leaders, managers, supervisors, law enforcement personnel and non-law enforcement personnel, to understand their own roles and the roles of their fellow employees in responding to threats. In an active shooter scenario, employees are taught to take actions that keep them alive.”
In the Spokane Sector, Border Patrol manpower has increased tremendously outpacing almost nonexistent growth in local law enforcement personnel rosters. The mushrooming Border Patrol is now looked upon by most local law enforcement as a well-trained, well-armed force should a shooting situation arise with many of the local agencies conducting active shooter training with Border Patrol Agents.
Border Patrol Agents work in hostile environments often alone, performing their duties ranging from tracking groups of illegal immigrants who are coming to the U.S. to improve their quality of life to apprehending Mexican Drug Cartel associates bringing across millions of dollars worth of contraband.
The Spokane Sector is not as fast paced yet apprehending a load of Cocaine, BC Bud or Ecstasy valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars is not uncommon.
For decades Border Patrol Agents have had the reputation of being “pistoleros;” being just a bit better than other law enforcement but more importantly, a bit better than the bad guys. Agents qualify with their firearms four times per year and failure to qualify prompts swift action per their own policy. Agents are given several boxes of practice ammo to hone their shooting skills. Agents are assigned a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol and have the option of checking out a fully automatic assault rifle or a shotgun.
Yet courses like this DHS course instructing armed agents to run and hide, and the general philosophy of DHS management must send shivers down both local law enforcement and Border Patrol managers in the area. The FEMA administered computer course gives three options if an active shooter situation is occurring: evacuate, hide-out or in a last case scenario, take action.
The DHS management philosophy sends mixed messages to the agents working the field. These agents risk being reprimanded for not acting per training should the outcome of an incident not be the one desired. But should an active shooter situation occur at a school and highly trained Border Patrol Agents refuse to risk their lives to save innocents, then the public outcry will be deafening.