It’s a lesson no one on a college campus wants to put into practice, but the University of Maryland community now has a new guide on how to survive if someone opens fire on campus.
The University of Maryland Police Department has created a training video called “Responding to an Active Shooter,” depicting a hypothetical scenario on campus and explaining clear options for viewers: “Run, Hide, Fight.”
“The main message is one of safety and situational awareness to teach students and faculty that although this is an unlikely event, it could happen here, and here are your options,” Chief of Police David Mitchell said.
“Run, Hide, Fight” urges first attempting to get out of the building safely. If that’s not possible, the video instructs locking the door, turning off the lights, silencing cell phones and staying away from doors and windows. As a last resort, it advises using any available item as a weapon to disorient and engage the shooter until police arrive.
The idea originated in the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, and several universities across the country have created similar videos, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ohio State University and the University of Michigan. UMD sought to produce a resource specific to its community, setting the video on Maryland’s campus and including UMPD officers.
“For all practical purposes, it’s a city, roughly 60,000 people,” Mitchell said of UMD’s campus. “Why not have (the video) be personal and unique?”
The video can be viewed at go.umd.edu/ActiveShooterTraining and will be shared with groups across campus to encourage trainings and discussions among students, faculty and staff.
“We’re teaching you something that you can utilize anywhere, wherever you may be,” said Sgt. Rosanne Hoaas. “It’s another tool to add to our tool belt.”
To request a UMPD active shooter/campus threat preparedness training and discussion, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.