Over the summer, Lane Community College’s Public Safety Department held its second year of Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training in conjunction with the FBI, Oakridge Police Department, Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and Tribal Police.
The event consisted of two days of classroom training in which law enforcement officials were given information about how to best respond to an active shooter on campus. On the last day of the training, there was an FBI led live-action drill involving simulation ammunition, or simunition, and volunteer actors.
The drill was intended to give agents experience in an active shooter situation, as well as to familiarize them with the layout of the campus and collaborating with other law enforcement agencies.
The Public Safety Department is doing everything it can to be prepared in the event of an active shooter on campus, according to the Lane Chief of Public Safety Jace Smith. In the case of a shooter on campus, he said, Lane Public Safety will lock campus buildings remotely, and notify people via text and overhead paging throughout the campus, along with other strategies that he didn’t disclose.
“A lot of times we hear stories about email and text messages not performing well during an emergency. Part of our philosophy is low tech, a PA system is pretty low-tech but it gets the information out pretty quickly.” Brian Kelly, Vice President of Lane Community College Student Services stated, “We’ll use email, we’ll use Lane Alert, we’ll use texting, but that’s one of the things we’re doing to help prepare for the unexpected.”
Kelly also detailed other preemptive methods of emergency preparedness. One such method is threat assessment, in which a team of faculty here at Lane analyze information, including verbal sources and social media posts, to decide whether anyone on campus poses a threat to themselves or others. He stated that “this is work that we’re doing 365 [days a year]”
According to the Homeland Security website, in the case of an active shooter, it is important to remember the phrase “run, hide, fight.” One’s first reaction should be to flee from the shooter if at all possible and evacuate the premises.
If there is not an escape route available, the next best thing is to hide. An ideal hiding place is one in which you aren’t trapped, and that could provide protection if fired upon (i.e. behind a metal door.) It is incredibly important to remember to silence phones or any devices that might give away your location.
Finally, the last resort if neither of the two prior options are available, and your life is in imminent danger, is to fight. The Department of Homeland Security suggests yelling, acting as aggressively as possible, and throwing objects and improvising weapons.
For more information about what to do in an active shooter on campus scenario, you can visit the Lane Community College Department of Public Safety web page, or attend one of the classes that they offer on campus.