In the wake of an increase in gun violence, some of which has occurred in educational environments, the Shippensburg University Police Department (SUPD) wants to continue to arm students with knowledge about what to do in the case of a violent intrusion on campus.
The SUPD had Violent Intruder Training on Monday night, Feb. 25, in the Harley Hall rec room, where students watched a video, listened to the SUPD and asked questions about what to do in case of a violent intrusion.
Also, students learned a concept known as “survival mindset;” something staff and faculty are taught upon employment at the university. The basic idea behind the survival mindset is, in case of a violent intrusion, to run, hide and fight. The emphasis is on the first two, as no one is encouraged to try and fight in such a situation, only as a matter of desperate survival.
Running and hiding is the best reaction for someone in such a scenario.
If hidden in a room, barricade yourself in as best as possible, pull the blinds, eliminate anything that might make noise like a cell phone, remain quiet and await police.
“If you can notify the police, give us as much information as possible,” Cytha Grissom, chief of SUPD, said.
“Tell us where the person is, if they have a weapon, things like that. Stay until police come and clear the area and tell you that it is safe to leave,” Grissom said.
If you contact the police, do not do so and make noise at your own peril; only do it if it is safe.
When the police arrive, remain calm, follow instructions, empty hands, keep hands visible, avoid quick movements toward officers and avoid pointing and yelling.
Another thing the SUPD discussed was the characteristics of an active shooter situation.
They noted that victims are usually selected at random, although every situation is unique. Also, they explained this kind of event is unpredictable and evolves quickly and usually requires law enforcement to end.
Grissom is not in favor of the idea of arming staff and faculty to defend against a potential violent intrusion.
“I’m just leery that someone is going to get hurt, an innocent person is going to get hurt, and I do not think we should be at the point where we are arming people who are supposed to be teaching,” Grissom said. “That’s our job.”
Ultimately, the best thing a student can do is remain aware of one’s surroundings and the people in them.
Watch out for suspicious-acting people and people asking suspicious questions about buildings or individuals.
If a violent intrusion ever occurs, remember to run and hide and notify police if possible.
Allow the SUPD to be the ones with guns on campus, and call them if someone other than them has one.