Active Shooter Guidelines

Active Shooter Guidelines for Shawnee State University

SSU Security Officers

As part of our emergency preparedness, the Shawnee State University Department of Public Safety (SSU DPS) has created safety guidelines to instruct all faculty, staff, and students of the Run-Hide-Fight principle and what to expect from responding officers in the event of an active shooter. 

Active Shooter Guidelines Brochure

In an Active Shooter Emergency:

  • Make a decision as to what course of action you will take to protect yourself. 
  • There will generally be three options:
    • Run and evacuate
    • Hide or lock down 
    • Fight and take down the shooter

If you are able to evacuate, do it and remember to:

  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Run in a zip-zag pattern away from the building or situation.
  • Do not stop running until you feel safe or are in a safe zone.
  • Contact 911 or SSU DPS emergency line (740.351.3232) and provide detailed information. 

If you are on the second floor or higher, ask yourself if escaping through a window is possible. Make an improvised rope out of clothing, belts or any other item to help limit the falling distance and attempt to fall into shrubs, mulch, or grass. 

If evacuation if not possible:

  • Take shelter in the nearest office, room, or closet and silence all electronic devices. 
  • Turn off the lights.
  • Lock and barricade the door with items in the room (desks, chairs, bookshelves, etc.). If possible, tie down the door by attaching a belt to the door handle. 
  • Search for alternative escape routes (windows, additional doors, etc.). 
  • Call 911 or SSU DPS emergency line (740.351.3232) and provide detailed information. 
  • Do not open the door for anyone or peek out doors or windows. Responding officers will have access to all of the rooms in a building. 
  • Spread out and stay low to the ground. Huddling together makes a better target. 

Note that you may have to take the offensive if the shooter enters your area. Always position yourself in a spot that allows for the elements of surprise. Be prepared to utilize anything close to hand as a weapon and prepare yourself for the physical encounter. 

If the shooter is in your area and escape is not possible, your only option is to fight:

  • Throw anything at the shooter, aiming at the face, to distract the shooter. 
  • Use any weapon of opportunity close at hand (scissors, staplers, pens, keys, purse, backpacks, books, etc.). 
  • If possible, attack in a group and SWARM. Grab the shooter's extremities and take them to the ground and use your body weight to secure them. 

REMEMBER FIGHTING DIRTY IS FAIR WHEN SURVIVAL IS THE GOAL AND YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. 

When the shooter is incapacitated, call 911 or SSU DPS and advise law enforcement the shooter is down. Provide your location and stay on the line. Remove any weapons away from the suspect. DO NOT HOLD IT! Secure the suspect (with your body weight, belts, etc.) until help arrives. 

Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard. 

You must remain calm and do as the officers tell you. Put down any bags or packages you may be carrying and keep your hands visible at all times. Avoid making quick movements toward the officers, such as attempting to hold on to them for safety. If you know the location of the shooter, tell the officers. 

What to expect from responding officers:

  • They may arrive in any size team or as an individual. 
  • They may be wearing patrol uniforms, civilian clothing, or bulletproof vests with other tactical equipment. 
  • Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns or handguns, and they may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation. 

First officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people. Their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. Rescue teams and emergency medical personnel will follow behind to help. 

ONCE YOU HAVE REACHED A SAFE LOCATION, OFFICERS MAY DETAIN YOU UNTIL THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL AND ALL WITNESSES HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AND QUESTIONED. 

Please keep in mind that entire area is a crime scene. Until you are release, remain at the assembly point authorities have designated. 

Active Shooter Guidelines Brochure

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