Purdue Homeland Security Institute looks at active shooter situations

Courtesy of WFLI

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – The Purdue Homeland Security Institute is using simulation technology to come up with the best possible ways to handle active shooter situations.

When Adam Kirby watched the attacks in Paris unfold on TV, he couldn’t help but think of all the research he’s been doing for the past five years.

Courtesy of WFLI
Courtesy of WFLI

“Response time is key,” said Kirby. “And as I was watching it, and the longer and longer they waited, my heart just kept sinking and sinking, knowing that more people and more people were probably dying as I was sitting there watching my TV. It was very hard to watch.”

His PhD dissertation at Purdue University is on mass shootings and when police took 140 minutes to respond to the concert hall shooting on Friday, the active shooter simulation he has been working with over the years was running through his mind.

“My research has shown that in a typical shooting situation, one person is shot roughly every 20 seconds,” explained Kirby. “And in 140 minutes, that leaves a lot of room for a lot of people to get shot.”

The simulation technology allows him to adjust police response time, concealed carry probability, and whether or not security guards are present during a shooting. He said all of these variables are something every venue should consider.

“We want you to use our model to determine what solution is best for you,” said Kirby.

He said overall, the simulations concluded if more innocent people were armed, less casualties would occur. Same goes with more security guards and faster police response times.

Kirby plans to use the simulation program to recreate the Paris attacks once all variables are confirmed.

“Once this is all settled down, we can actually look at the numbers and learn from what happened,” said Kirby “And hopefully try and make some policy decisions, which is what we are trying to do with our research here at the Purdue Homeland Security Institute.”

The institute helps police departments, schools, and even their own university create response plans for active shooter situations.

After the shooting nearly two years ago on Purdue’s campus, the institute suggested every classroom should have a lock on the inside of the door. Since then, every Purdue classroom now has one.

Kirby hopes he can help create more helpful policies before he graduates in May.

Copyright 2015 WLFI. All rights reserved.

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