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What to do in the event of an active shooter

AHEC guidelines to keep you, your colleagues and your students safe.

By Matt Watson

December 5, 2018

Sign with police emergency numberAn active-shooter scenario on campus is probably the most difficult situation to predict, and the events will happen quickly. Please be aware that if the campus is faced with an active-shooter scenario, the Auraria Campus Police Department may implement several types of activities, such as campus lockdown, shelter-in-place and protect, and/or evacuation.

First, if the threat is in your building or area, and if it is safe to do so, evacuate to a safe area. If you are unsure whether it is safe to exit the building, seek sanctuary by proceeding to a room that can be locked if the situation allows. Proceed to:

  • Turn off the lights.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors.
  • Silence cellphones, and remain quiet.
  • Stay out of view.

If you are in a room that cannot be locked:

  • Place large, heavy objects (tables, bookcases, desks, etc.) in front of the doorway to impede the path and vision of an intruder.
  • Get down on the floor, and ensure that no one is visible from outside the room.
  • Do not allow access to anyone once the room is secure, as this will compromise the safety of those inside.

If it is safe to do so, call for help:

  • ACPD Emergency Dispatch: 303-556-5000
  • Text-a-tip to ACPD: 720-593-8477

If an active shooter passes by your office or classroom:

  • Try to remain calm.
  • Contact the ACPD, and if possible, alert police to the shooter’s location.
  • If you can’t speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen to what’s taking place.
  • If the shooter leaves the area, do not touch anything that was in the vicinity, as these items could be potentially dangerous.
  • Give additional information to the dispatcher if you are able.

If the attacker enters your classroom or office, and if there are no other options:

  • Fight the attacker as a group.
  • Commit to stopping the attacker with overwhelming force and improvised weapons (fire extinguishers, purses/ backpacks, chairs, scissors, broom/mop handles, etc.).
  • Wait for further instructions, and do not allow anyone to leave until the Auraria Campus Police Department, Facilities Services staff or emergency responders release the building or give an “all clear” signal or message.

ACPD hosts monthly active-shooter presentations in the Tivoli Student Union for anyone who wants to learn more about prevention measures, actions to take during an attack and what to expect once the attack has concluded.

Find more information on what to do in the event of an active-shooter scenario from AHEC’s Emergency Procedures Guide.

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