In the wake of two recent high profile shootings, one at two Jewish facilities in the suburbs of Kansas City, and a second at Fort Hood in Texas, Attorney General Eric Holder is calling on Congress to approve $15 million in funding for active shooter training that will help law enforcement officers effectively respond to such incidents.
"Every day, America's federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officials perform their duties with integrity, courage, and extraordinary valor. In the face of this urgent and growing threat - when the lives of innocent people are at stake - those who stand on the front lines need our full and unwavering support," Holder said in a video message posted on the Justice Department's web site.
Holder notes that that the number of active shooter incidents, which used to average about five a year between 2000 and 2008, tripled after 2009. The shooting at Fort Hood was the second at that base in the past five years.
"As a nation, we must confront this alarming rise and all of its underlying causes - honestly, factually, and without regard for political consequence. We must deal with these incidents whenever they happen - but, just as importantly, we must prevent them whenever we can," he said.
There has been a nearly 200 percent increase in state, local and campus safety stakeholders seeking assistance to detect and mitigate potential active shooters, he said. The Justice Department and FBI have already helped provide training to 50,000 front-line officers, 7,000 on-scene commanders and over 3,0000 heads of state, local and federal agencies in the past decade, but they need additional funding to continue, the Justice Department said.