Faculty, Staff and Student Awareness/Proactive Intervention Strategies

The Task Force recommends that three levels of awareness and action be adopted and implemented to guide faculty, staff and students in the event of an emergency situation involving a hostile intruder. These three levels are as follows:

Level III

This level would address the types of strategies and programs to heighten awareness and observation skills, as well as appropriate actions to remain safe, in the event a hostile action is actually taking place on campus away from one’s current location.

In addition to the policies now in place, and described in pages 34 through 39 of the Emergency Response Plan, it is recommended that the University develop a program of violence warning and prevention. This could be a network system which would be highly publicized, accessible to the entire campus, and serve as a database and reporting center for any questionable or alarming behaviors or activities, and possibly serve as a "red flag" for potential hostile activities or threats. This could also be accomplished through, or combined with, curricular units on awareness training and implemented through selected sections of any or all of the seven basic required courses. Further, on-line training programs and exams could be developed and required for all employees concerning mandated reporting strategies and in-service programs on recognizing actual threats and hostile behavior.

Any actions taken against identified individuals will need to be closely studied and determined so as not to create more of a hostile reaction than what might have been probable in the first place.

Level II

This level would address the strategies and programs needed for those who are in close proximity to an active shooter, perhaps on the next floor or down the hallway.

In addition to the existing policies from the Emergency Response Plan, it is recommended that "active shooter drills" be developed which would give credible insight and perspective on appropriate emergency reactions to be taken by faculty, staff and students. "Active shooter drills" are conducted periodically by the Department of Safety and Transportation in conjunction with the Springfield Police Department, but should be strategically located at various sites on a rotating basis or by request. Requests for drills could be received by fall of 2007, with actual drills being scheduled to start in the spring of 2008. While logistics would most likely dictate a conservative schedule, drills may be announced to the entire campus in the event those not covered by the drill could attend and observe. These active shooter drills should commence by the spring of 2008.

Level I

This level would address strategies and programs for the "point of initial contact" (i.e., the active shooter has just entered a classroom or is in the immediate vicinity).

In addition to the existing policies from the Emergency Response Plan and the "Active shooter drills" described above, emergency alert devices which can be activated on site should be considered. These could be placed in the classrooms, auditoriums, and other areas where groups meet on a regular basis. Implementation for the devices would be the spring of 2008. (See pages 7 through 9)

Synchronized training programs in group physical self-defense should be made available for faculty, staff and students. Training would include tactics for approaching, disarming, and surviving a direct attack by an active shooter. This should be implemented through determined curriculum courses of any of the seven basic required courses in General Education and be available in time for the Spring 2008 semester.

Voluntary, individual self-defense programs, designed for "fighting-back" postures with an armed or active shooter, including approaching, disarming, and surviving a direct attack by an active shooter, should be made available by the University by fall of 2008.