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Active Shooter and Violence on Campus

Preparing for An Active Shooter on Campus

It is important to be prepared for emergency situations such as an active shooter on campus. It is strongly recommended that you read the following booklet from the US Department of Homeland Security. 

Good practices for coping with an active shooter situation:

  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers

  • Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit

  • If you are in an office, stay there and secure the door. If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door

  • As a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him/her.

  • Call 911 when it is safe to do so

Be Prepared to Take the Following Steps:

1. Evacuate:  If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. 

2. Hide out:  If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. 

3. Take action against the active shooter: As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter.

What is an active shooter?

An active shooter is a person who appears to be actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area — typically employing the use of firearms. In some cases, active shooters use other weapons and/or improvised explosive devices (IED) to cause additional victimization and act as an impediment to law enforcement and emergency services responders. There may be 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.

Hostage or barricaded subject situations often take place over a longer period of time and usually there is no ongoing injury or loss of life. These situations are often managed through the deployment of specialized units, as time allows. Both hostage and barricaded subject situations can rapidly shift to Active Shooter situations and vice versa.

What do I do in an active shooter situation?

  1. Run

    If a safe path is available, run. Always try and escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying.  Encourage others to leave with you but don't let the indecision of others slow down your own effort to escape. Once you are out of the line of fire, try to prevent others from walking into the danger zone and call 9-1-1

  2. Hide
    If you can't get out safely, find a place to hide. When hiding, turn out lights, remember to lock doors and silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone.

  3. Fight
    As a last resort, working together or alone, act with aggression, use improvised weapons to disarm the shooter. Commit to taking the shooter down.

"Run. Hide. Fight.: Surviving an Active Shooter Event" is a Department of Homeland Security Grant Funded Project of the Regional Catastrophic Planning Initiative. Produced by the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security. Ready Houston, www.readyhoustontx.gov. The video depicts violent scenes of an active shooter.


Workplace Safety Plan: A Guide for Employees and Supervisors

  1. Notify DePauw Police Department of any potentially violent situations or any other incidents in which a member of the University community feels uncomfortable or in fear.

  2. Obtain a civil order for protection and make sure that it is current and on hand at all times. Include the workplace on the order. A copy should be provided to the DePauw Police Department, your supervisor, the reception area (if applicable), and Human Resource Office. The DePauw Police Department can also issue a formal No Trespass Order for University properties.

  3. Supervisors should give immediate coworkers some knowledge of the potential risk. As the unknown actions of the threatening party may put them at risk as well.

  4. Supervisors and/or coworkers should call the police immediately if the suspect individual arrives at the workplace. If a protection order is in place this will directly violate the civil order for protection.

  5. Provide a physical description and/or picture of the suspect individual to all immediate staff and to the DePauw Police Department.

  6. Identify an emergency contact person should your employer be unable to contact you.

  7. Review the safety of your parking arrangements, alter routine habits.

  8. Request that a DePauw Police Officer escort you to and from your car.

  9. Request a change and/or unpredictable rotations of your work schedule, work site, or work assignment if such a change is possible and would enhance your safety at work.

  10. Have your telephone calls screened at work.

  11. Request additional security measures for your work site. It may be possible to install security cameras or silent alarms at your work site, relocate your workstations to a more secure area, or provide you with a cellular phone for emergency use at work.

  12. Review the safety of your childcare arrangements. If you have a protective order, make sure the provider has a copy. 

  13. Limit information about employees that is disclosed by phone. Information that would help locate possible victims or information which indicate what time he/she will return should not be provided. (You may want to consider this an appropriate policy to have in place at all times for all employees.)

  14. Assure employees that they can use company assistance and resources without their jobs being in jeopardy and that they can trust their employer.

  15. Procedures for calling for help: Dial 911 for immediate police services or medical needs; give your exact location, including the city if calling from a cellular phone. Call the DePauw Police Department (765) 658-5555 .

  16. Locate and decide upon an emergency escape route.

  17. Supervisors should maintain a record for accounting for all employees if a facility is evacuated.