The Shootings at Columbine High School: The Law Enforcement Response
The mass killings at Columbine High School in suburban Denver, in April 1999, inspired deep soul-searching across the United States. The search for lessons to be learned from the tragedy has extended, as well, to the law enforcement and emergency response communities. This case provides a dramatic account of the details of police, fire, and emergency medical response to the reports of carnage at Columbine. It is designed to raise the central questions relevant for any such emergency: why did the response take the form it did and could matters have been handled better? In the process, the case illuminates the manner in which the decentralized United States law enforcement system functions under conditions of extreme pressure and minimal information.