Theater Shooting Interview by Chris Grollnek

Theater Shooting Interview by Chris Grollnek

Expert: Training, not laws, needed after theater shooting

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Theater Shooting Interview by Chris Grollnek

In the wake of the fatal shooting at a Louisiana movie theater Thursday night, one expert advised that the key to avoiding mass shooting casualties is training and preparation, not new laws and regulations.

“If laws were able to stop these things, we wouldn’t need police,” said Chris Grollnek, a former Marine and police SWAT team member.

Police said Friday that 59-year-old John Russel Houser, who they described as a “drifter” from Alabama, stood up 20 minutes into a screening of the Amy Schumer comedy “Trainwreck” at the Grand 16 theater in Lafayette and opened fire, wounding nine people and killing two before killing himself as police arrived.

Theater Shooting News Chris Grollnek Interview

Theater Shooting News Chris Grollnek Interview

Police have not determined a motive for the attack.

Grollnek, whose company specializes in active shooter prevention, said there is no consistent profile of a mass shooting suspect, making it difficult to predict their actions.

“It would be crazy for us to dismiss these people as crazy,” he cautioned, however, noting that shooters are often calculated and intelligent and they are trying to outdo each other.

He suggested it is not a coincidence that the shooting occurred just days after the three-year anniversary of James Holmes killing 12 people and wounding 70 others at a theater in Aurora, Colorado. The penalty phase of Holmes’ trial, in which he is facing a possible death sentence, has gotten extensive media coverage this week.

Grollnek said people’s response to tragedies like this is often either to call for more restrictive gun laws or to arm themselves.

“Weapons are not going to solve the problem and gun laws are not going to solve the problem,” he said.

Realistically, there is also only so much security that can be put in place at soft targets like movie theaters.

“We don’t want to turn theaters into the TSA…turning them into some type of fortress that you have to go through checkpoints to see a movie,” he said.

The public also should not cower in their homes in fear, though.

“We cannot fall victim to allowing these people to dictate that we shouldn’t go to the movies,” he said.

Grollnek said movie theaters have a responsibility to train their staffs in threat detection, surveillance, and prevention. He suggested that similar training—even just free training available online—would be beneficial for families as well.

“We as a society just need to be more prepared. We live in a different world now than yesterday” with the constant threat of terrorism and lone wolf attacks.

In the absence of professional training, however, he advised that families talk about and plan for what to do in emergencies like this—know where the exits are, know how to get out, and where to meet when you get to safety.

“Train your mind, train your family,” he said. See list of Strategic Partners “Our Nations Problem Solvers; “when t three letter agency responds to a crisis, they call one or more of These Professionals to augment their response.”

Grollnek praised the quick response of Lafayette police, noting that the average police response time to an active shooter situation is often closer to 17 minutes—and the shootings are typically over in less than seven.

Theater Shooting Interview by Chris Grollnek

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KLIF 570 Two Show on Movie Shooting

Know how to keep yourself safe in a movie theater

KLIF 570 Two Show on Movie Shooting

0550 hours: NORTH TEXAS (WBAP/KLIF 24/7 News) – If you’re ever in a movie theater and someone starts shooting a gun, stay calm and find the nearest exit.

Staying where you are in the theater during a shooting could get you hurt, Chris Grollnek is an active shooter expert. He says it’s not being overly paranoid if you know where the exit is.

“If there was a fire, you would know how to orderly get out. So get low, move fast, get your family and have a plan. Have a rally point, have a place that you’re going to meet when you get out.”

He goes on to say that we can’t let the threat of a shooting keep us from going to a mall or a movie theater.

0820 hours:


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The National Police Spring

The National Police Spring 

Chris Grollnek Bill Gage

Chris Grollnek

Active Shooter Prevention Expert on Domestic Terrorism 

Policy Strategist

May 7, 2015


Incidents continue to evolve around the world with terrorism. Threats of violence in the forms of car bombings, hostage taking, active shooter events and global political and rebellious coups demonstrate the “voice of people.” The National Police Spring stemming from Ferguson and the Baltimore “Communities Against Police” is just the beginning of the shift within our own country and we need solutions, not people rallying with empty demands. Centering arguments on race instead of the core issue which few admit is that of socioeconomic community status. By diminishing the actuality of the facts reduces the value of actual racism to near zero. Race is A factor, not THE factor. At no time does this paper imply race is not a key issue – in actuality, it’s a good portion of the core. Incidents within this essay describe basic principles and facts of same that few knew due to irresponsible reporting, but they are indisputable. Each incident has often demonstrated the rush to judgment against police with zero facts and then assumes to be a race issue. Enter Baltimore, the population is more than represented in every Governmental agency but economically, depraved of jobs and solid occupations. The poor economic conditions leave many residents with little opportunities to earn a living. When crime on the streets provide that opportunity and the first to address each incident is a police officer, there will be no one else to blame no matter the issue. Solving the communication problem will result in 95% of the solution. Knowing what’s wrong is key to fixing what lies within each mind, body and spirit.

After Action Report

This After Action Report (AAR) from the City of Baltimore is written for the leadership of not just the city but also the state. This is similar to an essay regarding civil disorder and restoring the peace from both sides. Instead, this white paper deals with the majority of issues causing unrest, distrust and the political oversight that is lacking.   Attempting to write a white paper for a national agenda to create order is not on impracticable, it is unrealistic.


Staring with the initial incident creating the catalyst for the “breakout of unrest” was the arrest and wrongful portrayal of facts by two separate parties. The police department did not have the forward vision to release a basic statement of facts of any information and with the history, created doubt. The community (family attorney with their agenda on national race relations) went on to allow leaks of non-material ideas. This is not an indictment of the family or victim, rather the fact that some would seize the opportunity to advance their own personal agendas using Freddie Gray post mortem. Local community politics went on to rush a misleading synopsis of the tragedy. Filling the media with untrue information ahead of the police was the spark found earlier in this AAR. Following the events of the past two weeks we can pause and evaluate what actually continues within this torn community.

Trayvon Martin

A look to the past to predict the future is in order. Many use Trayvon Martin as the starting point portraying police as targeting young black men. This in itself marks the falsehood of the argument as this young man’s death, although tragic, was not done at the hands of police.

Result: Mr. Martin was shot and killed by a “wannabe” police officer, George Zimmerman because according to the Department of Justice report, a struggle ensued and the man responsible for his death felt “threatened.” It is the authors opinion this did have something to do with race because Mr. Martin was a young black male where his killer did not think he should be. The letter of the law served Justice, but the spirit of the law was clearly violated because of the same laws that gave Mr. Martin freedom of movement provided an alibi for Mr. Zimmerman freedom of self-defense.

Michael Brown

Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, MO by a white police officer. The fact of this case did not meet the criteria of the “race agenda.” Instead, misstated facts would continue to follow in propaganda form. The misstated facts cost the officer his career, in addition to threats to cause harm on his family. It was not a store robbery or even a crosswalk violation that led to the death of Mr. Brown. Read the entire report and the discovery is clear, tearing of one and a half inches of leather on the officer’s belt around the gun created the fact that Mr. Brown was trying to disarm the officer who went on to shoot him to stop the threat. This is an important fact; we cannot see into the heart of the officer but what we know is police train to stop the threat, not kill. There is no trick shooting so it is impossible with adrenaline to shoot the gun out of a hand or shoot them in the arm or leg. Only in movies do people fall over when hit. Mr. Brown apparently took several rounds to stop the forward movement. While society does not see that as reasonable, I doubt those criticizing would have reacted differently in a fearful life and death situation.

Result: Mr. Brown was shot and killed by police because of the actions he created to cause Officer Darren Wilson to defend himself. Police are responsible for their firearms not being used against others by others. This was the only outcome from the series of events that occurred according to The Department of Justice report. Mr. Brown went beyond simply resisting and began continuous fighting. The fact that Mr. Brown was an African American and the officer a White male had zero bearing on this specific case.

Eric Garner

New York police were enforcing a sales tax on cigarettes law when they came into contact with Mr. Garner. Following a struggle, not only did police use what many believe to be unreasonable force to affect the arrest, the contact was unnecessary to enforce a substandard law. There is little doubt the man died because of a tragic series of unfortunate events, but it was not because he was black. The police did what they could to stop a man who was resisting all commands. At this point what should police do? Walk away and try again later when Mr. Garner was more reasonable? That would be more irresponsible than the narrative being brought forward at the expense of Mr. Garner. The choke was indisputably not in the policy but the size of the suspect and the officer trying to affect the arrest were not equipped to deal with the struggle as they were thinking hand force is much better than lethal or ECD force to stop sales tax crimes. The end result was Mr. Garner DID say I can’t breathe so many times it has become a motto for communities to rally against police. Again, police messaging went awry here and the damage continues to be self-inflicted on police because of messaging errors. This is not justifying the death of Mr. Garner, in fact just the opposite; we do not know what would have transpired if mutual cooperation was in order at that moment.

Result: Mr. Garner died of what many consider the acts of the officers “choking him out.” The fact is Mr. Garner died of a phenomenon police regard and medical examiners reveal as; “Sudden In-Custody Death Syndrome.” This is no excuse as the loss of life against Mr. Garner but shows that police did not set out to kill a cigarette salesman, rather a series of incidents lead to the death of Mr. Garner including the actions of police by not immediately responding to the “I can’t breathe” statement. In my experience, people say everything to keep from being arrested and 99% go to jail without incident. Mr. Garner was the one-off with an actual medical issue and this is one of the biggest fears for police, an actual a medical problem. The non-indictment of the officers was an excuse for race baiters to use this death in their favor. The end result is a tragedy that really should not have occurred but its doubtful race had anything to do with this incident. The number of whites arrested for this crime far exceed those that of African Americans in the same area.

Freddie Gray

By far this is the most important of all the listed cases, not because the life of Mr. Gray is more valuable, but the causation of the incident is telling. The movement that we are watching in prime time is just the beginning and as police we need to be ready to adjust our own focus and as citizens, we need to be ready to adjust our tolerance to facts, not agendas.

This incident is very different in several forms that the above four chosen by the author. Freddie Gray was a known drug dealer in the streets of Baltimore with over a dozen arrests for dealing illicit narcotics to include heroin. Instead of police trying to create the correct opportunity to catch a drug dealer, they created an incident that directly lead to his death. Mr. Gray was contacted for literally looking at police wrong. In the Baltimore Police Department, there is a policy against the chase of people absent probable cause that a crime was or was being committed. After catching Mr. Gray, police used a knife he was carrying to arrest him under the guise of an illegal weapon, which as it turns out, was not illegal at all. Problem number two and the incident would not end with these two issues.

Mr. Gray is arrested for what most consider; “pissing off the police” (POP). As the false arrest continues, everything that could go wrong continues to deteriorate. Mr. Gray is continuously struck with police using the excuse “resisting arrest” by police of the same race and others considered being minorities in the profiles. Most would argue at this point race cannot have anything to do with this arrest because police were minorities arresting a young black man who they thought to be dealing heroin. Again, instead of waiting for a proper arrest, the police created an issue directly contributing to the death of Mr. Gray.

Loading Mr. Gray into the police transport van the video shows his lower body less than active with the movement of his legs. This does not mean his spine was severed, it means police possibly used an unreasonable amount of force to affect his arrest. With a damaged windpipe or swollen airway, at least according to a leaked report from the medical examiner, Mr. Gray had damage inflicted during his police contact. With the refusal of the police and the District Attorney to release details of the autopsy, leaves doubt speculation among the community in America watching. There is a direct correlation leading to the unrest across major cities with Baltimore as the centerpiece. The new narrative, that’s not so new, is that police “target” black men in an effort to capture and or kill (whichever is expedient). This narrative is carried from the bottom up and out through the media with examples such as the ones within this AAR.

As of today, May 3, 2015, we do not know what the result of Baltimore will be. We do know however that there is a national movement to change the narrative and conversation of how police do their job. The only issue the author sees with this is that police will feel resented and set aside and relent to do their job as once trained. This is cause-and-effect at its finest. One solution is that we look to what the people want and that is quality police to protect them and lesson actions to enforce. There are several problems with this that this AAR will not address. Instead is author’s intent to show race has very little to do with this problematic series of events. Tragic as though they may be, the professionalization of Police Department’s across America can be a starting point to fixing or at least curbing the actions of rogue officers.

The South Carolina officer gunned down the African-American man who fled without cause is simply a murderer with a badge. His actions of cover-up following the discharge of his firearm eight times is not only inexcusable it’s flat out illegal. People complain about police actions often say police should be better or better trained. The fact of the matter is police are simply human and do their best with what they have and no amount of training can instill the principles a fight or flight. Fight, Flight or Freeze is inherent inside all of us how we do not know how we will act until under that type of duress. These actions sometimes cause failure to act or excessive fighting both of which we have seen. Unfortunately many officers hide under the guise a fight or flight to enforce rather than to protect.

Police need to adjust to the public’s new calling and quit taking their position personal. So many officers here the “calling” that they want to protect and serve and they fall into enforcing thinking they are protecting. While this type of policing method does need to be carried out in certain portions of different communities, it does not mean police should have [that] zero-tolerance attitude et al. Instead of thinking what the police need, the police should start thinking what citizens need. This of course is the reason for police in the first place, to serve community needs while maintaining good order and discipline. This profession is one police chose and it begins with protecting the public in keeping their trust. Maintaining their trust is something entirely different. Just a few thoughts that could be incorporated into earning the public’s trust and police adjusting their methods of operation.

Reasons Protestors are Correct for Marching and Wrong for Looting

Police Stand Ready for Protestors - Is There Another Approach?

Police Stand Ready for Protestors – Is There Another Approach?

The protesters have rights and have good frame of mind for wanting to change the impact to the communities. Of course the issue is that several out-of-town protesters come in and exchange their good ideas for criminal actions. Many so-called civic leaders come in and call for the burning of minority owned (non-African-American) businesses. Instead of the impact understood and recognized by the community at large these people get to leave the city once their objective is complete. Several inside the community are so desperate to get their voice heard they follow these people under ill advice because there’s no one truly looking out for them. Their elected officials have let them down, refused to communicate and forgot the representation for which they’ve been elected. If they had the true community’s heart in mind communication would be at the forefront of each and every conversation.

Police act as the first line between the citizens and the criminals in the court systems. Typically, there are several years of pent up aggression or issues that then boil over when a person calls the police. It is up to these officers to solve the problems in five-minute increments because that is the approximate time police service calls last. Police have training in community relations, dealing with special needs people, dealing with crowd control and dealing with the court systems. The problem is few officers understand that this job is not personal.

By professionalizing the system of policing there would be a higher standard of training with education as a focus for development. At the time of this writing, it’s an occupation like a trade, not a professional career like a doctor or lawyer. Some politicians’ commit egregious acts while in office and retain that office although it is a minute sample. Police: 1/10th of 1% of officers do criminal acts and it not only reflects poorly on the officers but on the entire badge wearing community. This talk that comes out of all the major cities into the media following these tragic incidents generally has a common theme that police are the problem. The true problem of course is not the lack of training or the lack of weapons or over resources; it is the lack of quality officers available for the position. Who would want to enter an occupation where everyone hates you just because of the job you would perform? Who would want to enter an occupation that pays approximately $50-$70,000 a year that you would ultimately have to give your life up for citizen is sworn to protect. That same citizen appears on the nightly news writing and protesting of your very existence. Elected officials hide behind their stands and say it’s the police fault and when the cards fall it’s the police left the clean it up. Where’s the solution for success in this? Here are four items that I propose will help police move forward into helping their communities again and in turn the communities will help the police. I defer back to the watch and ward method of policing when our country was first founded.

Lessons from the street

Police Lives Matter Too

The National Police Spring Threats of Violence and Rioting
The National Police Spring by:
Chris Grollnek Bio
Active Shooter Prevention Expert
Policy Strategist 
May 7, 2015
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Freddie Gray and Baltimore Burning

Freddie Gray and Baltimore Burning

Chris Grollnek on Baltimore Riots

Freedie Gray and Baltimore Burning – Chris Grollnek Active Shooter Expert

Freddie Gray and Baltimore Burning

Baltimore, Maryland: There are no winners and it does not look like there will be!

Baltimore, Maryland: There are no winners this past week!

Police are protecting the “shield” while citizens lose faith in police (no matter what the actual facts of the incident end up being surrounding the death of Freedie Gray), the indisputable fact is that this young man senselessly lost his life. Ask why; poor decisions, worse actions, police policy regarding public action and now lost confidence from the citizenry.

In our society today, more than any other time in recent history – we have seen a response to call for NO POLICE action. No matter your profession, realize each is like its own system with inner workings and personalities, some “JUST,” others not so much.

This past Friday I was asked to immediately fly to Baltimore to help plan a “no firing zone” to ensure as many people as possible understand the mitigation process of active shooter prevention. Ferguson taught us that badge and guns do not automatically protect you from [an] active shooter incident(s). The Ferguson police officer shot during the riot example was a “non-traditional” active shooter but one nonetheless.

There is no need for me to explain my decision to not travel to Baltimore but it seems prudent because my opinion is so engrained within this subject. I do not remember a time in my past that I refused anyone’s call for assistance or as in this matter, “help” (I use this term loosely) to protect others. The fact is, as an active shooter expert with experience inside two actual events with multiple shots fired, I have a unique perspective few others could fathom. Domestically speaking, its such an anomaly, my chances of winning the lottery were higher than finding myself in these incidents.

At the government’s request, I was summoned to participate in a tabletop exercise to produce calculated route planning for security and safety of citizens and police alike. The goal was to teach the basics to the masses and plan for the unthinkable. What skewed my opinion to not go was just that, the unthinkable already took place (Freedie Gray) and reacting instead of planning makes it near impossible to be “right” in all areas. One misstep or missed event and there would be detrimental scars left inside me similar to others I have from my police career.

Choosing winners and losers cannot determine safety – which means the city is choosing a path to mitigate an unforgivable tragedy, in this case the loss of life of a young man. No matter the history of this person or what went wrong or by whom, both sides have polar opposite opinions. Trying to save face in light of exceptional rioting from out-sourced protestors, the city would see my role as a “would-be” appearance in RAW clips discussing a slanted view. Editing out the true opinions would not be worth the time away because both sides have stakes to smear the others in this incident.

The news stories coming out are already slanted to the family of the deceased youth and slightly misrepresented. This does not mean I believe the police are in the right because I do not in this case (with what details are known up to this time). My opinion of this incident and the outcome that would be prudent is the safety of the public, not blind public safety backing. As professionals, we need to align and write as far reaching as possible. Spreading this narrative that we back professional mitigation and planning with solid community policies that support and back communities and police alike. We need to push this beyond print and media journalism with overlapping social media resources and followers of each.

Explaining the situation, politics aside, the police in Baltimore have a voice as their personal voices are muted by policy. This is the same policy manual that seems to be at the heart of the matter at hand. Attempting to represent the community and people who feel they’ve been unjustly wronged will slight the police. Any attempt to explain the truisms here and there is nearly impossible.

Instead of sensationalizing the matters ongoing, we should get to the root of the issue, not create new problems.   By setting fires, vandalizing local businesses (like we see at the CVS) and thievery will not solve nor deter the next bad decision by one or two officers. Out of over one million law enforcement professionals, even if the ones and twos who erode the personal trust we work so hard to covet, the messaging is being lost.

The majority of police professionals are here for the purpose of helping and others get slighted and erode attitudes because society expects its officers to correct problems in five-minute increments that took well over 20 years to create. Calls do not stop, while not one is the same, the narrative is similar and eventually, all faces begin to look familiar. There are split second decisions made by officers that will be second guessed for days, weeks and sometimes months or years. If your job had a standard of a “hiccup” as a private citizen (say DWI) would cost you your career, you may be enlightened a little more. But that trust cannot be restored by excuses of stress when the erosion begins one incident at a time.

The vast majority of incidents go unfettered with no major issues and then there’s the perception of impropriety. Once that is there, even if wrong, the “stink” does not come off. Think of Michael Brown in Ferguson, the narrative is, was and continues to not be true but that does not stop the people trying to remove civilized law enforcement. We need to work as a whole society to restore it by starting the conversation and keeping it moving forward and creating a more “community policing model” that works with the community.

This will not bring back bad deeds of the few truly bad police decisions nor will Freeedie Gray return to the community, but it could stop the “next” Freedie Gray incident from happening. This should shed light form the inside that police are a microcosm of our own society. In each, that same society has bad actors. No excuses though for psychologically challenged badge wearers, but a call for communities to become stronger. Socially neutral as a retired law enforcement officer but that does not mean I am in “blind” support just because the people in question are police. I stand with the communities for peaceful protests and a real transparent scenario.

I ask we continue this conversation as the months and years pass because if we fail here, we will see a “state run police force” that will not be able to be “taken back.”

Very Respectfully,

Chris Grollnek

Chris Grollnek Bio

Active Shooter Prevention Expert and Community Policing Policy Strategist


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The President on Criminal Justice Reform Policy

The President on Criminal Justice Reform Policy

I decided to post the article titled; “The President on Criminal Justice Reform Policy” because it coincides with my series being rolled out on policy and reform.  Excellent points are made here and validate my writing in the area of Americas understanding of policy changes and development.  I am not an expert on policy but this was a heavy focus of my Masters Degree program and I want to share as much as I can about the subject.  This video is right on time.

A reporter who covered the police beat in Baltimore did this interview at the Presidents request (exceptionally done I may add) on the topic of criminal justice reform and policy review. I thought it was extremely relevant as the topic of policy in the United States (Foreign and Domestic) and why it is so complicated.  The ideas are similar but the paths to get to each destination or end road is usually filled with many opinions, complications, lobbyists and few answers make sense at the end of the day. Although I may not agree with everything said in the interview, it is broken down into terms of the thought and then the feedback that would go into changing Americas policy on the criminal justice system.  I am an advocate for this subject as I believe it is far from “just” and the President has great forethought to bring this out for us to begin the discussion so good for him.

By no means am I defending Congress, the Senate or even the most powerful office in the world, but it is more complex than just jotting down words and hoping people will follow the new “policy.” So we as a society need to take the time and understand why this is such a complex issue to put together.  In my series found at; , I explore thoughts starting with crime control initiatives from the 1960’s on and relevant news articles that transcend through the decades as the names and tactics may have changed or even evolved but the problems remain similar. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, but policy is always at the center of the answer to the riddle of “what to do to make things better.” So when we see people screaming, crying or evening debating on the news about tactics or procedures, few take the time to understand a certain policy in place that quite possibly brought them to that moment in time.  Once discovered, they may find this is where these issue(s) stemmed from.

Read what this writer put together and keep in mind, he was an instrumental cog in the creation and sustainment of the popular show, “The Wire.” In fact, (in my humble opinion) I think it was so prolific, it was egged out of Emmy Awards (as well as many others) because it hit so close to the truth. Few wanted to examine the problem and issues the show brought to light and still many scream for reform.  Snapshot this; how can we develop policy for everyone to comprehend and support when we cannot award the a deserving fictional TV show because the truth is too hard to face?

This is food for thought and I am writing a series of essays breaking down why policy is more than words on paper and instructions for people to follow.  Many times, I write policies for companies on work place violence prevention or the topic I am most known for which is Active Shooter Prevention. Having survived two separate incidents domestically, I have a unique perspective from the inside of these types of events. I watch people train on these subjects and struggle to keep quite as they are teaching from a training only experience with zero real life experiences to bring with them. They are teaching from their own perception of policy on the subject. A policy cannot be implemented based on training experience only, it takes so many levels on input to be successful.

FROM THE INTERVIEWER: Today, I make television shows. And last Friday, my phone rang. Someone on the other end told me that the President of the United States wants to have a conversation about criminal justice policy in America.

In his effort to try to reconsider some of the sentencing excesses and the levels of incarceration that have become so problematic in America, the President wanted to discuss these issues with me — particularly because a lot of them were rooted in a television show that we did several years ago called “The Wire.” In that show, we were trying to explore what the drug war has become in America and what it was costing us as a society.

So I went to Washington earlier this week and sat down with the President. We shared our experiences, our perspectives on the drug war, and the changes we hope to see. Check out the youtube video above!

Chris Grollnek, MS

Active Shooter Prevention Expert and School Shooting Lecturer for Staff and Students

Filed under:

The President on Criminal Justice Reform Policy – Series from on policy essays by Chris Grollnek – Nationally Recognized and Award Winning Active Shooter Prevention Expert / Policy Writer and Author / Work Place Violence Evaluator and Risk Mitigation Specialist

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Keeping Our Democracy Free from Hypocrisy

Keeping Our Democracy Free from Hypocrisy

Chris Grollnek

Bill of Rights – Keeping Our Democracy Free from Hypocrisy

Consider this statement: It is necessary for the rights of offenders to be considered and protected to a significant degree if the principles of a free, constitutional democracy are to be upheld.

Keeping Our Democracy Free from Hypocrisy: This question took me a while to respond to years ago in a legal class while working on my Masters.  It goes against most I was taught through practical application police work in “field training” but straight in line with the theory of police work in the academy. No matter your opinion, one could look to recent police protests and events and see there is no right answer.

The police (for the most part and majority of) see things one way as to up-hold the law as a noble calling while the people who “breach the peace” see things totally different.  That is until they are arrested. These protesters of all races, religions, upbringing and socialy economic backgrounds bring their own view of “Democracy” right up until it personally affects them.

On the other hand, too often news cycles show us police have their own agenda.  Below are some quick thoughts that I hope will spark a quality debate, not begin an emotionally charged name calling session. My academic answer follows:

What a thought provoking first question for a class on legal issues.  At first glance, I would discuss the need of understanding the Constitutional Amendments, known as The Bill of Rights.  Treating all people equal no matter their accused or convicted crimes is paramount to the upholding of equal justice.  Allowing Constitutional rights to be reduced to a “one off” or “one situation at a time” would simply remove the possibility of “fair and equal treatment under the law.”

The slide of equality from one case may gradually move and begin the deterioration of freedoms enjoyed by all.  So just because one person commits an act no matter how heinous, there will always be one worse.  This allows emotions to come into play within the rule of law.  Emotional responses make it impossible for a standard to be upheld because one person may have a different emotional reaction to a crime than another.

Taking this response in another direction yet online with the discussion, what if the offender were innocent.  The 8th Amendment establishes laws to prohibit cruel and unusual punishment.  Treating everyone in the justice system equally (theoretically anyway) ensures our faith in a mature society to do the right thing and uphold our own laws keeping the “Democracy” free from hypocrisy.

There is a saying that has been translated several ways and used over and over.  Although its origin is from the Supreme Court 1895, the opinion of the same court in 1959 established the basis for this very argument; “it is better, so the Fourth Amendment teaches, that the guilty sometimes go free than that citizens be subject to easy arrest.” 

The point of this reference is protection for all citizens instead of arbitrarily made up laws to suit one persons needs of justice against another’s based on accusations and even criminal acts.

Keeping Our Democracy Free from Hypocrisy

Chris Grollnek

CJA560 DQ1 2012

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PSA on Active Shooter Prevention

PSA on Active Shooter Prevention

PSA on Active Shooter Prevention

Chris Grollnek Gives Away Active Shooter Training Video for Free

In 2009 Active Shooter Events began to be the centerpiece for media broadcast regarding mass murder in the workplace and schools. A brief reprieve was enjoyed in the nightly news until Fort Hood regained the attention of these types of events with a higher profile elementary school shooting shortly thereafter.

Chris Grollnek recognized that few companies actually taught the first on scene (the people inside the events) of active shooters/workplace homicidal incidents, how to survive without physical altercations. Instead, Chris took his experience of being involved in two domestic active shooter events (only one of three people in the nation to experience two) and reverse engineered them for an inside out understanding. These events re-focused his Masters Degree studies to research this phenomenon.

Following the advancement of the company, Chris recruited several partners with unique backgrounds. This dynamic group of individuals became the National Authority on Active Shooters. Following the vision and mission development that Chris outlined, CCG began to work with corporations, schools and enigmatic agencies. With the success came numerous media opportunities ultimately making the phrase active shooter expert synonymous with Chris Grollnek.

As demand dictated, (CCG) began recruiting more Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) in the industry on a variety of topics and grew to a force no other company could replicate. During this time, Chris worked with Colonel Morgan Banks of Operational Psychology to develop a new strategy of “Behavioral Modification Messaging” for a PSA project. In 2013 CCG released their PSA on Active Shooter Prevention in conjunction with Parroco TV.

In January 2014, Chris Grollnek sold his shares to pursue his work at a higher level that can be shared. Chris wrapped up his endeavor in early 2015. CCG continues to do business with a focus on assessments with a steep departure from the initial vision set forth in the founding company charter.

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TSA Airport Active Shooter Training Video

TSA Airport Active Shooter Training Video

Chris Grollnek Active Shooter Prevention Expert on Why Video is not relevant based on LAX Shooting

Chris Grollnek Active Shooter Prevention Expert on Why Video is not relevant based on LAX Shooting

TSA Airport Active Shooter Training Video – This video is well put together and the filming excellent.  Unfortunately the writers and directors left out many incidents details about what happens to the people around the shooter and the responders.  In my professional and expert based opinion, they relied on the Los Angeles International Airport incident.

On November 1, 2013, Paul Anthony Ciancia walked up to a checkpoint at Los Angeles International Airport and proceeded to open fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing one TSA officer and wounding two others.

Two years later, the TSA wants travelers to know they have a plan.  In an effort to show commuters they have nothing to fear, the TSA has filmed a new video that will be used nationwide to train TSA employees how to “Run, Hide, and Fight” during an active shooter situation.

TSA Airport Active Shooter Training Video

Chris Grollnek

Active Shooter Prevention Expert and School Shooting Mitigation Specialist

After Action Report Improvement Plan and Airport Police Update: One Year Later

The Los Angeles World Airports Emergency Management Division (LAWA EMD) has worked with the following internal and external agencies to address the observations and recommendations in the after action report for the November 1, 2013 Active Shooter Incident at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

  • LAWA Divisions
  • City of Los Angeles
    • Emergency Management Department
    • Fire Department
    • Police Department
  • County of Los Angeles

Since the issuance of the report on March 18, 2014, LAWA collaborated to implement these recommendations. Below is a summary of the recommendations implemented:

Public Mass Notification

  • Wireless Electronic Alerts
    • An emergency message notification is for public safety instructional and informational purposes. The system will send a text-like message accompanied by an audible alert to cell phones in the proscribed area. The message must be concise (limited to 90 characters), instructive and must be requested through the L.A. City Emergency Management Department (EMD) or Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
    • Activation criteria
      • Department Operations Center (DOC) activation Level 2 or 3 (at the direction of Incident Command) or if an immediate public safety hazard exists.
    • Timing to send notification
      • Mass notification should be made within the first 15 minutes of an event.
    • Message content
      • Messages are pre-scripted and may require the insertion of variables to specify the location of the incident.
    • Distribution method
      • Text message via cell phone towers in a designated geographical region
  • Nixle 360
    • Mass notification system that provides access to the local community through various communication channels, including voice.
    • Primary users are public safety agencies
    • Web-based application

Passenger Assistance and Mass Care

  • Airport Response Teams (ART)
    • Team composition
      • LAWA employees (civilians and off-duty staff) who would be deployed whenever an incident or emergency occurs requiring supplemental assistance to passengers and operations.
      • Badged LAWA employees and ART card for identification
    • Activation criteria
      • Request may be made by an Incident Commander or Duty Manager DOC activation of Level 2 or 3.
      • The emergency situation has the potential to severely affect passengers.
    • Notification to activate
      • Team members are notified via Everbridge mass notification system
    • Team Responsibilities
      • Identify those with disabilities and functional needs and obtaining/providing assistance.
      • Assess and identify logistical and operational needs.
      • Assist with crowd control by putting up barricades or yellow tape.
      • Assist with repopulation of terminals after evacuation.
      • Share information and updates with passengers through announcements.
      • Answer questions and provide translations (for ART members who speak a second language).
      • Distribute water, snacks, blankets, formula, diapers, etc.
      • Assist in the Department Operations Center with clerical and other duties
      • Answer customer calls and inquiries received through LAWA’s Infoline (LAWA’s public general information phone number and email system accessed through LAWA’s website).
    • Training
      • Classroom, drills, tours, and online training regarding FEMA incident management programs and protocols.
    • Work Shifts
      • 12 hours per shift during an incident
    • Timekeeping
      • Subject to LAWA policies for timekeeping and each employee’s respective union agreement
      • Permission to participate in ART must be granted by supervisor
      • Employee must notify supervisor of ART activation/deactivation
  • Point of Distribution (POD) Centers
    • A storage location of supplies for passengers and the affected public in case of an emergency or event.
    • The supplies included in each POD are meant to sustain basic comfort levels for passengers and the public during the early operational periods of an event.
      • Note: In anticipation of extended operational periods, the City EMD/EOC should be notified and a request for assistance, which may include the American Red Cross (e.g., to support the public) and Salvation Army (e.g., to support responders), may be made to supply additional resources.
    • Activation criteria
      • Department Operations Center (DOC) activation Level 2 or 3 with notification to Incident Command, OR
      • Instruction from the Deputy Executive Director of Operations and Emergency Management to activate PODs access, OR
      • Instruction from the Director of Emergency Management to activate PODs access

Department Operations Center

  • Develop Concept of Operations
    • The Airport Response Coordination Center (ARCC) has evolved in its mission to monitor and manage airport activity. The demands for situational awareness, common operating picture, response to emergency situations, and support of the Unified Command Post (UCP) have required a review of the concept of operations for the ARCC.
    • Areas of Development
      • Situational Awareness and Common Operating Picture Development
      • Protocols for activating the Department Operations Center
      • Staffing and services provided by the Department Operations Center
      • Reporting by the Department Operations Center

Development of Airport Operating Procedures & Standard Operating Procedures

  • SOPs In progress
    • Points of Distribution Plan
    • Emergency Communications Plan

Incident Command

  • Exercise and Drill Participation
  • Trunk Top Training (T3)
    • In a non-emergency forum that fosters collaboration among multiple agencies, emergency responders drill on LAWA operating procedures for emergencies and the incident command system.
    • Training occurs at the Incident Command Post (ICP) and Department Operations Center (DOC). Approximately 34-training sessions have been held since November 1, 2013.
    • Training Participants
      • LAWA Divisions
        • Airport Operations
        • Airport Police
        • Maintenance
        • Engineering
        • Environmental
        • Emergency Management
        • Public Relations
      • City of Los Angeles Departments
        • Los Angeles Fire Department
        • Los Angeles Police Department
        • Emergency Management Division
      • LAWA Stakeholders
        • Federal Aviation Administration
        • Customs & Border Protection
        • Transportation Security Administration
        • Federal Bureau of Investigation
        • Federal Air Marshals
    • Training scenarios focus on the 19 hazards required of LAWA for its Airport Certification. Additional topics may be added as related to current issues or industry concerns (e.g. Ebola)
  • Implemented LAFD Specialty Training for LAWA Incident Response Team
    • The first class of participants is more than 50% complete with this training. The program focuses on the incident command system as it is applied at LAWA, which includes the principle of bringing responders together to develop plans to mitigate an incident and recover normal airport activity.
    • This course consists of 12 classes plus exercises to provide a better understanding of DOC activation, resource management, plan development, and finance tracking. The concepts taught in this program may also be used at the Incident Command Post.
  • LAWA Community Training
    • Targeted to airport employees, information is provided on how employees can handle various situations that may threaten life, safety, and property. A recurring theme is to assist people with disabilities and functional needs. A total of 56 training sessions have been held since November 1, 2013.
    • Familiarize airport employees with basic information and resources to help them during an incident:
      • Online training opportunities (ICS 100, 200, etc.)
      • Tour of ARCC/DOC facilities
      • American Red Cross “prepare u”
      • Community Emergency Response Team training by LAFD
      • LAWA EMD “Hot Topic” or refresher course
    • Terminal Evacuation
      • Terminal floor warden program
      • Best practices for terminal evacuation
      • Controlled vs Uncontrolled
      • Airport Police is lead agency during evacuation
      • Assembly areas
    • Active Shooter
      • Airport employee response to active shooter
      • Evacuate, Hide, Take Action and Call for Help
    • Earthquake
      • Personal safety tips: Duck, Cover, and Hold
      • Tips for driving during an earthquake
      • Tips for what to do after an earthquake
      • Best advice: Prepare for a disaster
        • Identify hazards
        • Develop a supply kit
        • Develop a disaster plan
  • ICS Position Specific Training
    • This is training for LAWA employees who may serve in the role of a unit leader, section chief or commander
    • Training has been completed by staff at the level of Airport Superintendent of Operations III and higher
    • Training has been provided by various city, county and state offerings
    • Training is based on FEMA guidelines for the positions

Incident Response

  • Post-Earthquake Assessment Teams
    • Team Composition – From LAWA ADG and Engineering Divisions, a group of skilled and specially trained engineers and inspectors that possess the ability to evaluate structures for habitability and tag impacted structures accordingly.
    • Team responsibilities
      • Perform initial and conditional assessment of LAWA facilities that may have been damaged during an earthquake or other activity that may cause structural damage.
    • Activation Criteria
      • PEAT may be deployed at the request of the Unified Command Staff and/or DOC Director
    • Notification to activate
      • ARCC Notification with polling capabilities to quickly surmise the number of team members that may respond.

Airport Police Division

  • The After Action Report Improvement Plan concluded Airport Police officers responded to Terminal 3, located the shooter, engaged him in gunfire, and took him into custody within four minutes and eight seconds of becoming aware of the shooting.
    • In September, six Airport Police Division (APD) officers were awarded the Governor’s Medal of Valor Award for their heroic response. These officers also have been recognized for valor by the California Police Officers Association, the Los Angeles City Council, and the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.


We do not discuss specific deployment of officers at our airports. However, we are constantly evaluating how we deploy officers and will modify or adjust our enforcement strategies as needed.

Airport Police Division attrition averages 20 people a year. By November 17, 2014, Airport Police will have hired/made job offers to more than 30-people. The number of police officers committed to keeping employees and passengers safe and secure at all of our airports, continues to grow.

“I was adamant then and am today that we had a good deployment plan on November 1, and that is why the shooter was stopped as quickly as he was.” — Patrick Gannon, LAWA Deputy Executive Director of Homeland Security and Law Enforcement and Airport Police Chief)


  • Mr. Jose Plaza, an Air Serv employee, dialed directly to Airport Police Dispatch from his cellular telephone and reported the shooting in Terminal 3. This immediate notification to APD Dispatch saved time and helped ensure that officers responded to the shooting as quickly as possible.
    • Since November 1, 2013, all employees have been asked to enter the Airport Police emergency telephone number into their phones so that APD Dispatch can be quickly notified in an emergency. Calling 911 is also encouraged

    Duress Alarms/Emergency Telephones

    • Two duress alarms and an emergency telephone at the TSA screening station in Terminal 3 were not working properly on November 1, 2013. Repairs to these items were corrected immediately and since November 1, all duress alarms and emergency telephones are audited daily to ensure they are working.

    Command and Control

    • Command and Control issues between fire and law-enforcement personnel on November 1st led to confusion and delayed a Unified Command post from being established.
      • The location of a field command post will be incident driven.
      • Funding is approved for an Emergency Command Post vehicle. Design has begun.
      • The LA City Fire Department has held multiple ongoing training exercises over the past year, focusing on steps to establish Unified Command Posts, and inclusion of critical stakeholders in any future incident.

    Tactical EMS

    • In active shooter incidents, the role of law enforcement is to quickly stop the shooter and then provide medical aid as quickly as possible. Fire/EMS personnel, usually unarmed, will not enter the area where a shooting is happening, until police say it is safe. But, we recognize the need to respond quickly and to treat injured people as quickly as possible.
      • A technique, known as Tactical EMS, has now been adopted by the Los Angeles Fire Department and supported by APD and LAPD. In an active shooter incident, officers will provide force protection for paramedics and other fire personnel as quickly as possible so they can enter secured areas to treat the injured.
      • LAFD personnel are already going through Tactical EMS training as this will be the centerpiece of a multi-agency exercise in November 2014.

    Interoperable Communications

    • Airport Police, along with LAPD and LAFD, are actively involved in supporting the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA RICS) project, which seeks to provide effective interoperability among public safety agencies in Los Angeles County. Effective communication for first responders was an issue on November 1.
      • This past year, APD, LAPD and LAFD have worked to refine communications capabilities in order to communicate effectively. These communication issues are consistently addressed during our ongoing training exercises at LAX.

    Whole Community Training

    • Since November 1, our training with airport-wide employees and stakeholders has been to preach vigilance and good communication. If they see suspicious behavior, we want employees and stakeholders to report it to Airport Police. The safety and security of our airports is the responsibility of everyone. It is important that everyone feels empowered to bring suspicious activity to the attention of Airport Police.

    Law Enforcement Partnerships

    • There is a strong working relationship among all of the public safety agencies at LAX. Airport Police and LAPD work well together in tactical incidents at LAX. TSA/Federal Air Marshals, Customs and Border Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Department of Homeland Security also have personnel assigned to LAX.
      • Since November 1, we have conducted joint training exercises to ensure each agency understands how we will approach an active shooter incident.
      • Monthly executive management meetings with all of the public safety agencies at LAX have continued.

    “What happened a year ago could happen, and has happened, anywhere in the United States. While I can’t guarantee that a shooting will never occur again at LAX, we will do everything we can to improve our preparedness for an emergency, our response, and our recovery efforts. Airport Police is actively involved in the Joint Regional Intelligence Center and the Joint Terrorism Task Force. This multi-agency regional approach to interceding in terrorist acts gives us our best option at identifying an attack before it occurs.” — Patrick Gannon, LAWA Deputy Executive Director of Homeland Security and Law Enforcement and Airport Police Chief)

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Continuity of Operations Plans

Continuity of Operations Plans

COOP Plan Writer Chris Grollnek

Continuity of Operations Plans – Chris Grollnek

The components of the Continuity of Operations (COOP). Two components described as their importance as they relate to Emergency Operations Plans (EOP) and COOP.

The components of the Continuity of Operations are vital to understanding BEFORE responding to an incident, during the incident, and after the incident is completed or passed… The COOP is set up at separate levels between states, counties, and cities returning all the way back to the national level ensuring that essential functions can continue in the event of a critical incident or natural disaster (man made or not). This must encompass a broad approach for emergencies and the like.

Key components of the plan include:

Essential Functions: Establishing which functions must exist is important to have a starting point not just for the planning stage but for the execution during an event.
Orders of Succession: Chain of Command during an event and who has authority for decisions if the natural person to be in charge is not…
Delegation of Authority: This is important to ensure who has the authority to be in charge of what function and when that authority ceases to exist.
Continuity Facilities: Alternate locations to operate out of for command and control assuming the primary headquarters or sub stations of control are unavailable – otherwise, a plan “B” location.
Continuity Communications: Same as location but a back up communications system secure enough to operate in MORE than adverse circumstances.
Vital Records Management: Securing location during an event and being able to access information if needed for a duration of time
Human Capital: The responders and support personnel for the locations under siege. Families of these people need to be considered as well although not typically thought of from a governments perspective… Who evacuates the families of the people doing the evacuating and assisting?
Tests, Training, and Exercises: Nothing more than training for every possible event to ensure readiness.
Development of Control and Detection: Mainly having the ability and practice to transfer authority to alternate agencies and back and forth should the situation go beyond a reasonable amount of time…
Reconstruction: Rebuilding what was affected.

The two most important would be:

1. Establishing the essential functions during an emergency – an example on a smaller scale would be during the first two to three hours of a homicide investigation, no one in the city goes out to self initiate activity like traffic stops and suspicious persons outside of the investigation zone. That way the department is available to respond and assist the homicide team should they need something or teams of support. In other words, don’t get tied up on petty things when major things are happening and understanding the difference.

2. Test, Training, and Exercising – the day of an event would NOT be the best time to test a plan to see if works or try and train people for something they were not remotely prepared for. Test and training usually uncovers the “bugs” within the plans.

Filed from Chris Grollnek Archives #1279/UoP 2011

Continuity of Operations Plans

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Sun Tzu The Art of War Presentation

Warrior Leaders

The Art of War Presentation – Unpackaged Well

Sun Tzu The Art of War Presentation

[slideshare id=6204904&doc=6principles-101217001145-phpapp02]

I have spent countless hours reading several volumes interpreted and translated from ancient Chinese to English. Few make the leap factually as there are so many that read the principles as a hard fact when they are a packaged idea. Enjoy this slide show I found online, in unpackages all the translations into a simple format.

From the History Channel Web Site:
“The art of war is of vital importance to the state. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.” So begins The Art of War, a meditation on the rules of war that was first published in China. Historians don’t know the exact date of the book’s publication (though they believe it to be in the 4th or 5th century); in fact, they don’t even know who wrote it! Scholars have long believed that The Art of War’s author was a Chinese military leader named Sun Tzu, or Sunzi. Today, however, many people think that there was no Sun Tzu: Instead, they argue, the book is a compilation of generations of Chinese theories and teachings on military strategy. Whether or not Sun Tzu was a real person, it’s clear that “he” was very wise: The Art of War still resonates with readers today.


Chris Grollnek / Active Shooter Prevention Expert

Sun Tzu The Art of War Presentation

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