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Saturday, April 13, 2024
NEWS  |  CAMPUS

UPD program prepares UF faculty, staff in case of active shooter on campus

University Police Department has a 45-minute program that may save your life.

UPD has been offering a program since the summer that trains faculty, staff and students on how to deal with a shooter on campus.

The presentation outlines procedures on how a person should react if "an active shooter," someone who aggressively shoots others rather than holding a hostage, enters the building he or she is located in.

UPD Spokesman Capt. Jeff Holcomb said, "After Virginia Tech there was obvious interest in trying to find out what law enforcement's response would be in something like that."

"As staff members we want to be assured that law enforcement is prepared and able to respond to that," he said.

The training is not mandatory, but between 350 and 400 UF faculty and staff members have participated in the presentation, Holcomb said.

According to the UPD Web site, in the event of an active shooter incident, someone should secure the immediate area by locking and barricading doors.

The lights in the room should be turned off, and occupants should stay calm, quiet and dial 911.

"It is kind of common sense," Holcomb said.

"You want to put a barrier between you and the shooter, but it's one of those things. If you haven't thought this through and something happens, a lot of people would just kind of freeze."

The UPD Web site also advises people to silence cell phones, close blinds and place signs in windows to identify the location of injured people.

The best way to prepare for an incident involving a shooter is to have a plan of action in advance, he said.

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Holcomb said the benefit of having a plan is that you can institute it immediately instead of trying to develop one while a shooter is in the building.

Some of the staff at UF said there were many advantages after completing the program and felt more knowledgeable about what to do in an emergency situation.

UPD hopes as more people find out information regarding this presentation, more people will request the presentation, Holcomb said.

"The main thing is just awareness, to develop a plan and put [it] in place when it's needed," Holcomb said.

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