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Updated: Jun 21, 2023

Mass Shootings and Active Shooter Incidents

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Forbes: A 25-Year Police Veteran Offers Surprising Answers To Mass Shootings

Gene Petrino was inspired to become a police officer by the effort to catch Danny Rollling, the serial killer who stabbed five college students in Gainesville, Fla., in 1990.

“By chance I took an intro to criminology course. One of the speakers turned out to be one of the lead investigators for the (investigation). I spoke to her after the class, and my life in law enforcement began.”

That was 25 years ago. Now, with mandatory retirement in two years, he and a partner, Jay Kowalewski, are launching a business into the teeth of mass shooting epidemic. Called Survival Response LLC, it will aim to train people how to respond to mass shooters. Petrino doesn't want to focus on the shootings alone, but on how to prevent them.

Gene Petrino and Jay Kowalewski

“We’re missing the point, that there needs to be a comprehensive solution,” he says.

First of all, he’s too young to retire. And second, he wants to part of rebuilding a society where lonely men aren't turning into mass shooters, and where it's understood by police and by the communities they serve that arrests are the last step. He came into the profession because the idea of getting a bad guy off the street inspired him. But this is what he learned over the years: Real police work should not be centered around “bad guys,” but about helping people at crises in their life.

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