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Office of Public Safety

ACTIVE SHOOTER

HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN ACTIVE SHOOTER

Living a life free from fear means being able to protect it at all times.  Our hope is to empower all with practical life saving information and to help us all be safe.

CLICK HERE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY VIDEO ON ACTIVE SHOOTER

CLICK HERE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY'S POSTER ON HOW TO RESPOND TO AN ACTIVE SHOOTER

PROFILE OF AN ACTIVE SHOOTER


An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.

Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims.

Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.

GOOD PRACTICES FOR COPING WITH AN ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION

  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers
  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • 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 OR THE PUBLIC SAFETY DEPARTMENT AT EXTENSION 7777 OR (212) 650-7777 OR USE ONE OF THE COLLEGE'S EMERGENCY CALL BOX TELEPHONES WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO.

HOW TO RESPOND WHEN AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IS IN YOUR VICINITY.

Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Remember that customers and clients are likely to follow the lead of employees and managers during an active shooter situation.

EVACUATE

IF THERE IS AN ACCESSIBLE ESCAPE PATH, ATTEMPT TO EVACUATE THE PREMISES.

BE SURE TO:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers
  • Do not attempt to move or treat wounded people
  • Call 911 when you are safe

HIDE OUT 

IF EVACUATION IS NOT POSSIBLE, FIND A PLACE TO HIDE WHERE THE ACTIVE SHOOTER IS LESS LIKELY TO FIND YOU.

YOUR HIDING PLACE SHOULD:

  • Be out of the active shooter's view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door)
  • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement

HOW TO RESPOND WHEN AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IS IN YOUR VICINITY

IF THE ACTIVE SHOOTER IS NEARBY:

  • Lock the door
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture
  • Remain quiet

IF EVACUATION AND HIDING OUT ARE NOT POSSIBLE:

  • Remain calm
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter's location or if on Campus call Public Safety at extension 7777 or (212) 650-7777 or use one of the Emergency Call boxes located throughout the campus
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen

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 by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your actions

HOW TO RESPOND WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT ARRIVES

Law enforcement's purpose is to stop the active shooter as soon as possible. Officers will proceed directly to the area in which the last shots were heard.

  • Officers usually arrive in teams of four (4)
  • Officers may wear regular patrol uniforms or external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment
  • Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, handguns
  • Officers may use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation
  • Officers may shout commands, and may push individuals to the ground for their safety

HOW TO REACT WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT ARRIVES:

  • Remain calm, and follow officers' instructions
  • Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets)
  • Immediately raise hands and spread fingers
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety
  • Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises

INFORMATION TO PROVIDE TO LAW ENFORCEMENT OR 911 OPERATOR:

  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters, if more than one
  • Physical description of shooter/s
  • Number and type of weapons held by the shooter/s
  • Number of potential victims at the location

The first officers to arrive to the scene will not stop to help injured persons. Expect rescue teams comprised of additional officers and emergency medical personnel to follow the initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove any injured persons. They may also call upon able-bodied individuals to assist in removing the wounded from the premises. Once you have reached a safe location or an assembly point, you will likely be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control, and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so.

REACTIONS OF MANAGERS DURING AN ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION

Employees and customers are likely to follow the lead of managers during an emergency situation. During an emergency, managers should be prepared to:

  • Take immediate action
  • Remain calm
  • Lock and barricade doors
  • Evacuate staff and customers via a preplanned evacuation route to a safe area Assisting Individuals with Special Needs and/or Disabilities
  • Ensure that EAPs, evacuation instructions and any other relevant information address to individuals with special needs and/or disabilities
  • Your building should be handicap-accessible, in compliance with ADA requirements

RECOGNIZING POTENTIAL WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

  • An active shooter in your workplace may be a current or former employee, or an acquaintance of a current or former employee. Intuitive managers and coworkers may notice characteristics of potentially violent behavior in an employee.
  • Alert one or more of the following if believe an employee, coworker or student exhibits potentially violent behavior:
  • Human Resources Department
  • Student Affairs
  • The CCNY CARE Team (Crisis, Assessment, Response and Education Team)
  • Department of Public Safety

INDICATORS OF POTENTIAL VIOLENCE BY AN EMPLOYEE

Employees typically do not just "snap," but display indicators of potentially violent behavior over time. If these behaviors are recognized, they can often be managed and treated.

Potentially violent behaviors by an employee may include one or more of the following (this list of behaviors is not comprehensive, nor is it intended as a mechanism for diagnosing violent tendencies):

  • Increased use of alcohol and/or illegal drugs
  • Unexplained increase in absenteeism; vague physical complaints
  • Noticeable decrease in attention to appearance and hygiene
  • Depression / withdrawal
  • Resistance and overreaction to changes in policy and procedures
  • Repeated violations of company policies
  • Increased severe mood swings
  • Noticeably unstable, emotional responses
  • Explosive outbursts of anger or rage without provocation
  • Suicidal; comments about "putting things in order"
  • Behavior which is suspect of paranoia, ("everybody is against me")
  • Increasingly talks of problems at home
  • Escalation of domestic problems into the workplace; talk of severe financial problems
  • Talk of previous incidents of violence
  • Empathy with individuals committing violence
  • Increase in unsolicited comments about firearms, other dangerous weapons and violent crimes

As a final note, to receive text or voice alerts of emergencies or weather related closings on your campus via mobile or home phone and email please register for CUNY Alert at http://www.cuny.edu/news/alert.html