The rising threat of well-armed Islamist terrorists in Europe is forcing police forces here to consider adopting American-style tactics to address mass-shooting scenarios.
Belgian law enforcement has long focused on the judicious use of force, using nonlethal rounds to disable fleeing suspects like Salah Abdeslam, an accused assailant in the Paris attacks who was shot in the leg during a house raid in March. Shooting in such scenarios wasn’t meant to kill suspects, Belgian officials said.
Police forces are now working with U.S. law enforcement to draw on lessons painfully learned in America, where officers are trained to enter quickly—with whatever they have on hand—to take down a shooter as quickly as possible.
“It is a whole new ballgame for the Belgian police,” said Geert Luypaert, the chief of police in the town of Heusden-Zolder. “There are not a lot of guns here. But the bad people always get the guns, so we need to teach our people.”
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