Campus Community Health • HEERF I, II & III

University Police

Response to a Critical Incident Situation

In teaching Response to Critical Incidents, the University Police Department follows the recommendation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by teaching the Run, Hide, or Fight techniques.

These techniques and information were chosen for their simplicity and ease of learning, but also because no one answer is correct for every individual that may be on or near our campus in the event of a critical situation such as an active shooter.  Individuals must make the determination of what course of action provides them the best chance of survival for an incident of this nature.

Three options for dealing with a critical incident situation

RUN: If possible, evacuate the area and call 9-1-1.  This option should be chosen if you could evacuate the area without placing yourself in the line of fire from the active shooter(s).

HIDE: If evacuation from the area is not an option, then you should hide.  Make every effort to stay out of sight and in a locked room.  Barricade the doorway with whatever is available; the idea is to make it as difficult as possible for the individual to encounter you.

FIGHT: Should you have no other option, as a last resort, fight.  Remember to be as aggressive as possible.  This individual is intent on attempting to take your life.  Use whatever you have available as a weapon and stop the threat to you.

The FBI recommends watching the following video which provides more details about surviving an active shooter event using the RUN, HIDE, FIGHT method:

Characteristics of an Active Shooter

  • Active shooters usually focus on assaulting persons with whom they come into contact. Their intention to cause bodily harm is usually an expression of hatred or rage rather than the commission of a crime.
  • An active shooter is likely to engage more than one target. Active shooters may be intent on killing numerous people as quickly as possible.
  • Generally the first indication of the presence of an active shooter is when they begin their assault.
  • Active shooters usually go to locations where potential victims are numerous and easily accessible, such as cafeterias, classrooms, and libraries.
  • Active shooters may be indiscriminate in their violence or they may seek specific targets. Active shooters usually have some degree of familiarity with the location they choose for the assault.
  • Historically, active shooters have not attempted to hide their identity or conceal the commission of their attacks. Escape from law enforcement is usually not a priority of the active shooter as they may be suicidal, deciding to die in the course of their actions, either at the hands of law enforcement or in a self-inflicted manner.

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