LISTEN: SHERIFF CHUCK JENKINS on School Shootings: The Days of Waiting Ended with Columbine

Listen as Larry spoke with Sheriff Chuck Jenkins of Fredrick County, MD, about the criticism Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has received following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.


During the interview, Sheriff Jenkins of Fredrick County, MD clarified how law enforcement is trained to react to active shootings:

O’Connor: Sheriff Jenkins, in Frederick County what is the protocol for an active shooter situation like this at a school? If there is one deputy there, and the shooting is going on are they to sit and wait for backup or do they go in and try to do the best they can? What do you tell your team?

Sheriff Jenkins: Our training, our protocol, our policy dictates, if at all possible, you don’t wait. Waiting stopped at Columbine back in what, 1990 something?

O’Connor: That’s what I thought.

Sheriff Jenkins: Yes, waiting stopped. Now the protocol says if an individual is there, if an individual deputy is there and can take an action to eliminate this threat, kill the bad guy, he goes. If I’m the number two guy there with my deputy, I’m going in with him. I train with my people to do this. So yes, everybody is trained to react the same way, respond the same way. The days of waiting are over when bodies start falling. You react, you respond, and you eliminate the threat.

As the interview continued, Sheriff Jenkins addressed Sheriff Israel’s actions of politicizing the incident:

O’Connor: I think many people are sort of scrutinizing Sheriff Israel right now because it appears as though he knew about those breakdowns last week, but he still did that nationally televised political event where he was basically blaming the NRA, blaming politicians, he was kind of partisan. Do you think that was appropriate for him?

Sheriff Jenkins: No, I don’t. Again, I think we all have our political beliefs and ideologies but you keep them separate from the actual events that you’re addressing. And some of the statements he said, he made, I don’t think were really appropriate. Again, I wasn’t there. I’m not in his shoes. But I can tell you, you don’t turn a situation like that into politics and you don’t blame the NRA because it’s not a gun control issue. The very basic issues are these:

  1. How do you limit access of firearms to individuals that shouldn’t have them in their hands?
  2. How do we harden the security at our schools to eliminate the threats to our students and staff?

There are a number of ways to do it, but again I don’t think you make it political.

Sheriff Jenkins proposed an idea he’s bringing before the school board to prevent such an incident from occurring in Fredrick County, MD:

Sheriff Jenkins: Listen, there is a lot of conversations out there. I am going to go to my school board before long and propose, and I thought about this after Sandy Hook several years ago… I would be very much in favor of school security teams that are armed and trained up and have the fortitude and the willingness to be a security staff inside of a school, say a group of five or six people trained in every school to protect that school, to protect those students. I think it’s workable. I think it’s doable. And I’m going to make that proposal here fairly soon.

The Broward County Sheriff Says He Won’t Resign Amid Controversy Over the Florida School Shooting

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel is defending his department’s handling of events leading up to and including the Feb. 14 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead.

In an interview with NBC News’ Kerry Sanders about a call his department received on Nov. 30 last year warning that the suspected shooter, former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Nikolas Cruz, “could be a school shooter in the making,” Israel said: “What we’re looking into is did [the deputy] follow up, did he send it over … indications at this point is that he did not.” [Read More]

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