While Connecticut State Police troopers responding to the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre acted in an efficient and heroic manner, there is much that can be learned, according to a new report released Friday.
The 75-page report noted that police were walking around the school and parking lot with rifles and handguns without being “sufficiently identifiable as police officers.”
“This could cause further panic among civilians, a “blue on blue” friendly fire situation, or a decrease in scene security,” the report states.
The document also notes that while responding troopers arrived at the school safely despite the stress of the situation, many officers parked their cars in an obstructive fashion that could have made it difficult or impossible for other emergency officials to respond. Many of the cruisers were left both locked and running.
“All department personnel should be trained in how to override the disabling mechanism in equipped vehicles so that they can operate them if needed,” the report states.
The report also shows some confusion by first responding officers, noting that the response from several agencies at once made the effort to clear the school of victims and the shooter that much more difficult.
There were several incidents of officers who had “inadvertently” pointed the muzzle of their guns at other responding officers while clearing the building.
“Law enforcement personnel should ensure they maintain weapon muzzle discipline when conducting room clearing and search operations,” the report states.
Offices also never searched the basement, having not realized that there was access from the first floor of the building, during the initial response. The area was searched later in the afternoon, the report notes.
Not knowing the layout of the building helped to cause several issues identified in the report, and the document recommends that the State Police keep schematics of high risk buildings at dispatch for such…