Lockdown and active shooter

Violent incidents, including but not limited to acts of terrorism, an active shooter, assaults, or other incidents of workplace violence can occur on the campus or in close proximity with little or no warning.  An “Active Shooter” is considered to be a suspect whose activity is immediately causing serious injury or death and has not been contained.

The purpose of a “Lockdown” is to minimize accessibility to rooms on campus and to reduce the risk if injury or danger to faculty, staff, students or visitors.  A lockdown would be implemented when requested by campus public safety, local law enforcement, fire department, campus administration or any other credible source of information.  Lockdown notification will be provided through the campus paging system, Star Alert mass notifications system, e-mails, postings, digital signs or verbal instructions.

Watch this 20 minute video on campus lockdown and active shooters. The video provides individual employee, staff member and/or associate with critical guidance on how to recognize and survive an active shooter situation.

Campus lockdown - immediate action

1.  If you are able to safely leave the building, do so immediately:

  • Have an escape plan and run to a safe place of refuge.
  • If you are not able to leave, lock or barricade your doors.
  • Call 9-911 on campus phones or on cell phones and report your location and other information relevant to the incident. 
  • ASAP inform a Campus Safety Officer so they can inform the campus.


2. Secure the immediate area.  Whether a classroom, office, or other:

  • Lock or barricade the door.  Block the door using whatever is available; desks, tables, file cabinets, other furniture, books, etc.
  • After securing the door, stay behind solid objects away from the door as much as possible.
  • If safe to do so, allow others to seek refuge with you.

3.  Protective Actions.  Take appropriate steps to reduce your vulnerability:

  • Close blinds and block windows.
  • Turn off radios and computer monitors and silence cell phones.
  • Place signs in exterior windows to identify your location to emergency responders and the location of injured persons.
  • Remain calm and quiet. 
  • After securing the room, people should be positioned out of sight, in multiple areas around the room and behind items that might offer additional protection.
  • Remain in the secured area until directed otherwise by emergency officials.

4.  If the assailant enters your room, take action and defend yourself:

  • Fighting is a last resort and should be used only when your life is in imminent danger. 
  • Use improvised weapons; throw coffee cups, books, chairs or other items. 
  • Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter. 
  • There is strength in numbers; work together against the shooter. 

5.  If you find yourself in an open area, immediately seek shelter/protection:

  • Put something between you and the assailant.
  • Consider trying to escape, if you know where the assailant is and there appears to be an escape route immediately available to you.
  • If in doubt, find the safest area and secure it the best way possible.

6.  If you encounter the police: 

  • Remain calm and listen to the police instructions.
  • Drop book bags or other items you are carrying.
  • Keep your hands above your head and visible for the police.
  • If you know where the active shooter is, inform the police. 

When the condition causing the lockdown has been eliminated, an “all clear” announcement will be made over the campus Public Address or STAR ALERT Emergency Mass Notification system.  Emergency responders will also walk through the campus and clear areas on a floor by floor basis.  Remain on campus for further instructions.

Exterior incidents

Based on an external shooting incident, the safety staff may be required to secure the exterior doors.  A lockdown notices will be posted on all exterior doors.  When possible, notices will also be placed at the main parking lot entrances and notification will be provided through the campus paging system, Star Alert mass notifications system, e-mails, postings, digital signs or verbal instructions.

This will be done when the shooting threat is known to be outside or off the campus property i.e.; police in the area looking for a violent offender with a gun or a violent crime has occurred near a campus.   

Work and pedestrian traffic may continue within the building but no one will be allowed entrance without proper university identification and exiting may not be allowed.  

Safety or building service staff will be stationed around the high traffic doors of the campus until notified by law enforcement of an all clear. Security Officers will then open the exterior doors to the buildings and remove the notices.