Law enforcement earns high marks for shooting rampage response

Police at the Seelye Kia dealership in Kalamazoo where Rich and Tyler Smith were shot and killed on Feb. 20, 2016.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A newly released report gives Kalamazoo law enforcement high marks for its response to the Feb. 20 shooting.

The report, Managing the Response to a Mobile Mass Shooting published by Police Foundation, reviewed local law enforcement’s response when alleged shooting spree suspect Jason Dalton killed six people and severely injured two others.

Jason Dalton being restrained in jail while on a video feed for his preliminary hearing on May 20, 2016.

“The event demonstrates the resilience of the Kalamazoo community and the strength of the regional public safety response to the tragedy,” the report said.

The report praises the cooperation of the various agencies.

“Kalamazoo-area public safety personnel quickly identified and arrested the shooter, saving the lives of innocent people,” the report said.

However, it says the area needs to work on coordination of command and procedures in investigations.

It also calls for upgrades in the emergency communication system to allow for the sending of emails, pictures and videos. The report talks about the fact that a Kalamazoo city dispatcher had to use her personal cellphone to distribute a picture of the suspect.

It also calls for the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor to get a dedicated public information officer in order to get timely and accurate information to the public.

Finally, the report says that there needs to be better mental health resources for all emergency personnel to help cope with an incident of this magnitude.

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