CT Police Chiefs Report: Police 12/14 Response Was Appropriate

A peer review covered the department's response from the first 911 call to building entry.

A peer review of Newtown's response on the morning of Dec. 14, conducted by an organization of Connecticut state police, showed the department "responded to the scene rapidly, positioned themselves appropriately, and followed their department policy."

"Our evaluation showed that the officers of the Newtown Police Department navigated the inevitable chaos created in the first few minutes of such a call, managed to piece together what was occurring, but were unable to intervene before the shooter took his own life," wrote police chiefs Marc Montminy, Michael Crowley, Michael Maniago and Matthew Reed, who signed the letter.

Work on the report began on Aug. 14 when Chief Michael Kehoe sent a letter to the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association asking for a peer review of the department's response on Dec. 14.

"Chief Kehoe requested the analysis be conducted by his peers, because the response that day included all on duty personnel, even the highest ranking members of the agency," wrote CPCA President Jack Daly. "Because of unsubstantiated information being released to the media on the Newtown police response time to the shooting, it became more important for an immediate review."

Earlier this month, some media outlets reported police were held back from entering the building on the morning of Dec. 14. The time before the first officer arriving and the entry of the building — six minutes — also drew some criticism from commentators after the state's report was released last week.

According to the report, police faced what could have been "exterior threats" as they approached the building, including a running individual later identified as a parent.

"In analyzing the response, it is important to know the accepted practice for officers responding to such a call," wrote the study's authors. "Officers arriving at the school must do so in a manner that allows them quick access to the facility, but must also be cognizant of their tactical positioning. Therefore, it is expected that first arriving officers would park a reasonable distance from the building in order to afford themselves the best view of the building and surrounding space. This allows officers to begin assessing the status and location of the threat. Officers are trained to prepare for more than one threat or aggressor."

In assembling the report, the authors studied the 911 recordings, radio transmissions, in-car video recordings and other documentation and evidence.

Daly added the organization supports Kehoe and Newtown Police.

"The tragedy which unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School was devastating and one that the community and law enforcement will never forget," he said. "We continue to ask for thoughts and prayers for the community of Newtown and for all the first responders who were fearless as they approached the school in the name of safety. All 104 CPCA law enforcement agencies stand together with Chief Michael Kehoe, his department and their community to heal, as we have from the first moment."
Thomas Crafts December 05, 2013 at 05:42 PM
To a layman, it sounded like they did everything they could, and in a professional manner. The children were mostly dead by the time law enforcement arrived, which was within minutes.


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