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Chief's Corner

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15 October 2015

Recent school shootings in Oregon, Texas, and Arizona have once again brought a harsh spotlight on the need for individual safety planning on school properties.  The University of Northern Colorado Police Department provides ‘Active Shooter’ awareness and response training for groups by request and through the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL).

An active shooter is commonly defined as an individual who is engaged in the homicidal act of shooting all persons in a specific location, oftentimes with little or no personal vendetta against the individuals targeted.  This differs significantly from a hostage situation, which usually includes an effort to gain something, or a targeted homicidal act, which usually includes harmful intent towards a specific individual.  However, the following information may be applicable in many potentially violent situations, especially when confronted by someone armed with a deadly weapon.

The following information is condensed from various safety measures you can take during an active shooter incident:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings and have a basic safety plan in case of an emergency.  If a situation appears to be dangerous remove yourself from the area if possible.  Rapidly assess your personal risk if you take or don’t take an action, and then decide what to do next.
  2. Get Out: In case of an active shooter, if it is safe to leave the area, do so.  Safe means that you are not in the line of potential fire and you have the ability to get out unseen by the suspect.
  3. Hide Out: Your second option is to lock or barricade doors, turn off lights, silence your cell phone, and hide in a manner that you cannot be seen in the room where you’ve secured yourself.  Call police if possible.
  4. Take Out: If you find yourself in a position where you are confronted by an active shooter, or you are in a confined area with a shooter, your only survival option may be to fight back.  If you choose to fight back, realize your life depends on successfully incapacitating or disarming the suspect.  You must also realize that you’re likely to be injured or even shot while fighting back, but do not focus on the injury, focus on successfully fighting back and disarming the suspect.

Under all circumstances, when safe, call 911 and report what you know to law enforcement.  Helpful information includes brief description of assailant, type of weapon in hand (long gun, handgun, large knife, etc.), and last known location.  Stay on the line with the dispatcher and answer their questions to the best of your ability.  Good information will help police response and likely contribute to a quicker resolution and the increased likelihood that lives can be saved.

Although active shooting events sometimes seem common, they are actually exceedingly rare compared to other everyday activities and accidents resulting in severe injury and death.  However, these events can sometimes occur and being mentally prepared with a safety plan can help minimize your risk of harm.

Requests for Active Shooter awareness training can be scheduled through Officer Larry Raimer at Lawrence.raimer@unco.edu.  The CETL workshop calendar may occasionally have training scheduled and can be accessed at http://www.unco.edu/cetl/cetl_workshops/index.html.

9 April 2015

Recently a representative from Southwestern Advantage (or Southwestern Advantage LEAD) is approaching faculty and students in or near the academic halls prior to the start of classes. The representative is recruiting for 'a paid internship' with this company.

This group has no relationship with the University and is a private company. This company sells books door-to-door. As with most companies engaged in this activity, there are safety concerns related to interacting with individuals selling door-to-door or deciding to seek employment with companies such as this. I would encourage any individual considering employment with this type of company to research the background and practices of Southwestern Advantage from multiple sources.

Southwestern Advantage representatives are in violation of the University Regulations under 3-7-127 Soliciting, Vending, and Debt Collection when they engage in this behavior without approval through appropriate University channels. If you see or interact with someone recruiting individuals, gathering personal information, or attempting to sell a product in the academic buildings, please call the UNC Police Department at 351-2245.


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