Active Shooter Response
An active shooter is a person who appears to be actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms, and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. These situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly, demanding immediate deployment of law enforcement resources to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to innocent victims. This document provides guidance to faculty, staff, and students who may be caught in an active shooter situation and describes what to expect from responding police officers.
Response to an active shooter
1. RUN -- If you are in a classroom or office and an active shooter incident arises, you should only try to leave the area if you can SAFELY do so.
Those who get safely out of the area should move toward any police units, keeping hands on top of their heads and doing exactly what the Police tell them to do.
Once you have encountered the police, pass on vital information to them, such as: the number of shooters, description of shooters, location of incident.
If no police units are yet on scene move well away from the school and find safe cover positions (not the parking lots).
If the windows don’t open, or you cannot break them, or you are not on a ground floor, get out of sight from the door and stay low and quiet.
Keep others calm and quiet
2. HIDE -- If you cannot safely leave the room, or office STAY THERE, and lock the door. If the door has no lock, attempt to block the door as much as you can or place a door wedge hard under the doorway. Turn off the lights and silence your phones.
If you are in the hallways and cannot get out of the building safely, go to a room that is not already secured and secure it.
Unless you’re close to an exit, don’t run through a long hall to get to one, you may encounter the gunmen or hostage taker.
Don’t hide in restrooms!!
If in a theater or gym area and the gunmen or hostage taker(s) are not present, move to and out the external exits away from where the incident might be happening and move toward any police unit.
Again, keep your hands up and in plain sight. Do what the police tell you!
3. FIGHT -- Look for anything that can be used as a weapon, in case you have to defend yourself if the shooter makes it into the room. Attacking the shooter is not a recommendation to fight but rather a choice to fight where there are no other options left
If you get trapped in the room with the shooter, don’t do anything to provoke the shooter.
If they are not shooting, do what they say and don’t move suddenly.
Only you can draw the line on what you will or will not do to preserve your life or the lives of others.
If shooting starts, you need to make your own choice, stay still and hope they don’t shoot, run for an exit in a “zig zag” fashion, or attack the shooter.
Again, attacking the shooter is not a recommendation to fight but rather a choice to fight where there are no other options left.
Campus Police Response
- If an incident occurs on campus, Cedar Crest College Campus Police officers will be the first responders and are trained to deal with the situation
- Campus Police Officers primary objective will be to confront the suspect(s) and neutralize the threat
- Outside agencies will respond and work with Campus Police
What to Expect From Responding Police Officers
Campus police and other police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard. Their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible.
- Everyone in the building will be considered a suspect
- When officers make contact with you, do not run towards them
- Keep your hands visible and respond to their commands
- Officers will engage with fire on anyone that is armed or moves towards them in what can be perceived an aggressive manner
- If you are near the suspect/s when officers make entry, the best thing to do is drop as low as you can and stay there, with your hands visible until the team commands you to get up.
The officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, or handguns and might be using pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation.
Remain calm, do as the officers tell you, and do not be afraid of them. Put down any bags or packages you may be carrying and keep your hands visible at all times. If you know where the shooter is, tell the officers. The first officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people; rescue teams composed of other officers and emergency medical personnel will follow the first officers into secured areas to treat and remove injured persons.
Keep in mind that even once you have escaped to a safer location, the entire area is still a crime scene; police usually will not let anyone leave until the situation is fully under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Until you are released, remain at whatever assembly point authorities designate.
Active Shooter: A suspect who’s activity is immediately causing death and serious bodily injury. The activity is not contained and there is immediate risk of death and serious injury to potential victims.
Barricaded Suspect: A suspect who’s in a position of advantage, usually barricaded in a room or a building and is armed and has displayed violence. May or may not be holding hostages and there is no indication that the subject’s activity is immediately causing death or serious bodily injury.
Dynamic Situation: The situation is evolving very rapidly along with the suspect’s action. Example: The shooter is moving and shooting.
Static Situation: The situation is not evolving or in motion. The suspect appears to be contained. Example: The suspect is barricaded in a room.
Traditional Deployment: A tactical concept where Officers maintain a secure perimeter around a life threatening armed suspect situation and wait until specially trained units (S.E.B., S.W.A.T., etc.) arrive at the scene to finally intervene.
Rapid Deployment: The swift and immediate deployment of law enforcement personnel to on-going, life threatening situations where delayed deployment could otherwise result in death or great bodily injury to innocent persons.
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