In wake of Uvalde, Hawaii law enforcement agencies coordinate on unified active shooter plan

“The consistency of the tactics is what’s important."
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 4:23 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 9, 2022 at 6:26 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Law enforcement from state and county agencies are working together to coordinate how they’d respond in the event of an active shooter or similar mass attack in Honolulu.

State sheriff’s deputies trained investigators from the city Prosecutor’s Office this month as part of a rapid response program.

“The consistency of the tactics is what’s important,” said Lanikoa Dobrowolsky, first deputy of the state Department of Public Safety.

The exercises are designed so those first-on-scene have a unified plan to take down a gunman.

“It doesn’t matter, at that point, if two Honolulu police officers arrive, a sheriff’s (deputy) and a prosecutor’s investigator, they’ll give an appropriate response.”

The exercises took place at the former St. Francis School in Manoa, providing participants with real-life situations. They had to move through hallways with blind corners and closed doors.

Dobrowolsky said the training isn’t just for attacks at schools.

The same tactics can be used at stores, malls, workplaces and other public places.

Converted handguns that fire paint bullets were used in the exercises.

And the first thing discussed during the classroom portion of the program was the Uvalde school massacre.

Reports showed an uncoordinated response by Texas law enforcement officers ― who didn’t engage the gunman for more than an hour.

By then, 21 students and teachers had been killed.

The Sheriff’s Department has done this training with other agencies, too, including the Honolulu police, deputies with the United States Marshals Service, and agents with the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Active shooter response plans have changed over time so repeat training is necessary.

“Modernizing it a little bit,” said Dobrowolsky. “Repetition. You can’t just take the class and forget about it.”

There are different plans within the training program. The Sheriff’s Department also trains civilians in workplaces to prepare for a mass attack.

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.