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What Should Mayors Do in the Aftermath of a Mass Shooting?

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Candles line a sidewalk memorial in honor of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Sarah Peck, director of UnitedOnGuns, a nonpartisan initiative of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern’s School of Law, Mark Gottlieb, a fellow Northeastern law school alum and executive director of the public health institute, and Emily Nink, policy associate, worked together to produce the Mass Shooting Protocol & Playbook: A Resource for Mayors and City Managers. James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of criminology, law, and public policy, was one of several Northeastern faculty who served advisors to the document.

It is believed to be the first research in the nation to guide mayors on exactly what they need to do in the aftermath of gunfire in their communities that claims multiple lives. The playbook was designed specifically for municipal leaders and is not available to the public.

But a separate protocol, a summary of the larger playbook, lays out seven priority areas where a mayor’s attention must turn in those crucial 24 hours after gunfire. Communication is at the top of the list.

“Your primary role during the response is as the ‘communicator-in-chief,’” it says. “The public will look to you for messaging about public safety, updates about the victims, referrals to mental health resources, and messages of unity and healing.”

Read the full story on Northeastern News.

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