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Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:43

Handbook Advises Students on Active Shooter Scenarios

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| | Courtesy of U.S. Department of Homeland Security|
By Margaret Duncan/Staff Writer
     Noel Daniel/Features Editor

Although some students may be familiar by now with the California State University, Stanislaus website, not everyone is aware that the school provides specific information regarding important safety protocols — especially during an “Active Shooter” scenario.

Whether you live in the dorms, work on campus, or just attend classes, CSU, Stanislaus has a number of handbooks and videos available to promote safety in such an intimidating crisis.

The Emergency Information site provides links and information about various potential emergencies. U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a handbook, “Active Shooter: How to Respond” that is readily available on the Active Shooter page.

For more immediate concerns, CSU Stanislaus uses an Emergency Notification System known as StanAlert to deliver prompt notifications to students, faculty and staff. The system sends out voice, email and text messages with safety instructions in the event of an emergency on campus.

“There are some exceptions to this requirement,” CSU Stanislaus University Police Lt. Reggie Thompson, Operations Commander, said. “Emergencies where issuing a notification would compromise efforts to assist a victim, contain the emergency, respond to the emergency or mitigate the emergency aren’t subject to the emergency notification requirement.”

The “Active Shooter: How to Respond” booklet, provided on the website, states that the best way to prepare for a hostile situation is to be situationally aware. This means that you have to be mindful of your environment by recognizing threats, having escape plans and knowing the location of the closest exits of any building you enter.

Before any measures are taken, the booklet advises that you stay calm, react quickly and be prepared to take on a survival mindset.

In a shooting scenario, there are three options: flee, take shelter or take action — depending on which is safest in that situation.

If possible, take note of the whereabouts and physical description of the shooter to relay to a dispatcher in the event of calling 911.

Also try to make a note of the type and quantity of weapons the intruder has in their possession.

While fleeing, the booklet insists on leaving property behind, keeping hands easily seen and staying quiet.

It also recommends stopping any person headed toward the location of the active shooter and help to lead others away from danger.

When law enforcement does arrive on the scene, it is important to remain calm, follow their instructions, refrain from asking questions and move towards the direction that law enforcement came in from.

“The campus community should be aware that University Police officers may respond to reported incidents wearing and carrying equipment that may seem unusual,” Thompson added. “However, standards for police response have changed and it will become more common to see semi-automatic handguns, body armor, helmets, and large rifles. These items are used by police officers, and not only SWAT officers. We urge the community to avoid panic when they witness police officers with various equipment responding around campus.”

After evacuating the area and gathering at a safe place, it is crucial to stick around until law enforcement has finished questioning and has released all witnesses from the scene.

For more information about safety protocols on campus, visit the CSU Stanislaus Emergency Information website at csustan.edu/emergency/index.html or contact the University Police Department at public_safety@csustan.edu.

The preceding article was provided by The Signal through a partnership to better inform the community of campus news. Visit www.CSUSignal.com for more CSU Stanislaus news.

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