Recent history suggests that active shooter incidents are rising on college campuses across our country. Loyola University New Orleans wants you to know we have developed comprehensive tactical and operational plans to respond to such incidents on campus. These are reviewed and exercised annually and have multi-agency coordination addressed within them to ensure an effective and efficient response.
During such acute, no-notice incidents, communication to the campus community is paramount. Emergency Alerts (text messaging for example) are the primary method we deploy to reach the campus community. Without the ability to reach you, we cannot obviously inform you of a valid threat. Ensure you are signed up for Loyola Emergency Alert Notifications in order to quickly receive critical information via text messages.
There are a few critical aspects you as an individual should know when preparing yourself for such an incident. A few of them are as follows, but the brief 5 minute video below developed by the Department of Homeland Security and the City of Houston, TX highlights the basics.
Please review this immediate list of tips, view the video, and consider the additional tips below the video.
Call University Police when safe to do so – the quicker, the better.
Did you know dialing 911 from a campus-based phone connects with LUPD?
And if you dial 911 from your cell phone, you will reach NOPD rather than LUPD?
There is a critical difference in the response time of these 2 agencies. Time is the most vital aspect of this scenario and LUPD is already on campus. Consider programming 865-3434 into your cell phone and saving as a speed dial or as a favorite for quicker access. Both police forces will respond regardless, but LUPD is your on-site, campus police professionally trained to effectively respond to these scenarios.
Run, hide, fight – in that order (but not necessarily meaning do ALL of these). This is the current message supported by the FBI, DHS, and others. These options should be understood to be priority rankings rather than steps for you to take in progression. Pick one and commit to it. If circumstances change, reassess and recommit to that necessary step. Please watch the below video highlighting the “run, hide, fight” concept.
If you hear gun fire and if you can safely exit your location to run to further safety, then GET OUT. Get to safety and stay there.
If you are unsure where the shots were in relation to you and think it is too close for you to safely exit and run, then HIDE.
If you hide, do so quietly, silence your cell phone, consider turning off lights, and consider barricading or locking the doors if possible.
If these two are not an option and the shooter is entering your area/room, FIGHT BACK. This is even more effective if you are with a group and can do so collectively.
If you ever become aware of a situation that may lead to violence, please notify the police or other campus authorities. Loyola has a threat assessment team who can and do evaluate potential problems and seek to find appropriate, fair and compassionate resolutions.
A few extra tips to consider
Try to remain calm when talking to the LUPD and/or NOPD dispatcher.
Remain calm if you are hiding – any noise could give away your location.
When you exit the area, be sure to keep your hands visible to any officers and DO NOT show your hands while holding a cell phone (this might look like a gun at quick glance, forcing the officers to waste valueable time addressing you – time is critical to the response).
Do not attempt to drive off campus – fleeing on foot to a safe location is better. If everyone exited the campus in a car, we would have a massive bottleneck, leaving everyone at risk.
Do not attempt to remove any injured persons – get yourself to safety.
The initial responders on scene will NOT address the injured – their mission is to find and neutralize the active threat.
An immediate second wave of officers/responders/EMS will address the injured.
If hiding, remain there until you hear an “administrator” (or obvious police officer) giving you the “all clear.”