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Response to Active Shooter On or Near Campus

Call: Public Safety Department: 276-6611 or 911 from a campus phone.

Note: Dialing 911 from a cell phone will not connect you with Public Safety

What to Know:

There have been several high-profile examples of deadly shooting on college campuses. Our Department of Public Safety has learned some valuable lessons from these tragic events on how students can better protect themselves from a hostile shooter. Below are some recommendations for students, faculty, and staff on how to respond if there is a hostile or aggressive individual on campus with the intention of actively causing deadly harm.

Remember to stay calm in every emergency situation. If you discover an individual with a weapon on campus, warn others and seek a place of safety, then call Public Safety and 911.

What to Do:

If you are not directly involved:

  • Notify anyone you encounter that there is a shooter and to seek safety

  • Seek shelter in a safe place

  • Take protective cover and stay there until directed otherwise

  • Lock doors and windows

  • Stay away from windows and doors until notified

  • Call 911 and Rensselaer Public Safety Department at 276-6611

  • Provide the dispatcher with clear and specific information including:
    • Your name;
    • Location of the incident;
    • Number of persons who may be in harm;
    • Your current location; and
    • Any known injuries.

If you are directly involved:

  • Go to the nearest room or office

  • Close and lock the door

  • Block the door using whatever is available – desks, file cabinets books, other furniture

  • Turn off the lights

  • Seek protective cover

  • Keep quiet and act as if no one is in the room

  • Do not answer the door

  • The shooter may bang on the door and yell for help to entice you to open the door

  • If the shooter enters your room and leaves, lock/barricade the door behind them

  • If safe, allow others to seek refuge with you

  • Once in a sheltered area:
    • Close blinds
    • Block doors
    • Block windows
    • Turn off radio and computer monitors if necessary
    • Silence cell phones
    • Keep occupants calm and quiet
    • Positioned people out of sight and behind items that might offer additional protection – walls, desks, file cabinets, etc.

  • Notify 911 and Public Safety if it is safe to do so, providing each dispatcher with the following information:
    • Your name
    • Your location (be as specific as possible)
    • Number of shooters and their specific location
    • Shooters race, gender, physical features
    • Type of weapons(rifle/shotgun, handgun)
    • Have you heard explosions separate from gunshots?
    • Do you recognize the shooter? What is his name?
    • Number of persons involved
    • Injuries known
    • Wait for police or an officer from Public Safety to assist you out of the building 

If you find yourself in an open area:

  • Immediately seek protection

  • Put something between you and the shooter

  • Is escape your best option? Do you know where the shooter is? Is escape immediately available?

  • If in doubt find a safe area and secure it the best way you can

  • Should a fire alarm sound during a lockdown situation, DO NOT EVACUATE THE BUILDING unless you have first hand knowledge that a fire is in the building, you are in imminent danger, or you have been instructed to do so by emergency response personnel or a college official.

Remain calm!

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