Active Shooter Response Training
The University of Oklahoma is preparing students for possible active shooter situations. With A.L.I.C.E classes, students can learn how to respond to these situations on campus. (Photo provided by Pixabay.)
A.L.I.C.E. is a program that is being brought to the University of Central Oklahoma this fall to teach students how to evade crisis situations if they ever arise.
A.L.I.C.E. stands for “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.” This is a program that was created to teach civilians how to respond to crisis or life threatening situations.
Student life can be stressful and one thing that the University of Central Oklahoma police officers are trying to do is bring awareness.
UCO is ranked one of the safest schools in the state but that could change any second according to Chief of UCO Police, Jeff Harp “It gets people thinking about these things because your mind normally isn’t there.”
The A.L.I.C.E. Program was adopted last year, but classes have not been introduced until now. During the fall 2016 semester classes will be given.
This program is instructed by the UCO Director of Emergency Management, Norman Nieves. Classes last around two to four hours.
In these classes people are put through real life crisis situations and then are taught how to run, hide, and fight through them.
“You are walked through a practical exercise where you’re using whatever you have available, and in this case that would be nerf balls,” said Harp
In these exercises the materials provided are Nerf Balls and Nerf Guns and when the offender comes into the situation the participants are to start throwing and shooting the fake materials at the offender.
“Look for things around you to be a weapon,” said Harp “Books, notebooks, backpacks, scissors, chairs, computer keyboards, phones, bottles of water or soda, anything you can get your hands on.”
The idea is to teach people that it is okay to make the assumption that the loud bang down the hallway could have been a gunshot. UCO police are always standing by to help, even if it is a false alarm.
“Don’t be worried about making an assumption that seems silly, don’t worry about making a 911 call,” said Harp.
Another aspect of A.L.I.C.E. that is implemented is to empower people and let them know that they are adequate enough to make the decision to run, hide, or fight.
“What we want to do is put people in a place where they feel empowered and trained enough to run, hide, or fight,” said Harp.
There is more technique to running and hiding that just bolting out the door or getting under a desk. People are encouraged to be creative.
The UCO police encourage students to run and try to get out as soon as possible but if they cannot then run to a room, close the door, and push something against the door.
Maybe a desk or a printer, anything heavy to block the doors. If there is a glass window, get a piece of paper and use tape or gum to stick the paper over the glass window and that will prevent someone else from seeing inside of the room.
There may be a situation where an attacker comes into the room and tries to hurt people. This will be the situation where students and citizens are encouraged to fight back.
The most important thing to remember in a crisis situation is to call 911 or call for help using an app such as Rave Guardian
The campus police will be at the scene of the crime as soon as possible and start to resolve it immediately.
Running, hiding, and fighting are the three elements taught in A.L.I.C.E. training, but doing whatever can be done to get out of a dangerous situation is the most important, according to Harp
“In any crisis situation you’re going to have those three choices, they are not always in that order, if you are faced with a dangerous or deadly situation you have to take action to help yourself,” said Harp.