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OUPD holds public training about active shooters

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Students gathered yesterday evening in Baker Theater to watch the Ohio University Police Department demonstrate what to do if there is an active shooter on campus.

An active shooter is any person on campus who has the intent to kill large numbers of people within a confined area in a short amount of time, OUPD Officer Kevin Frith said.

To respond to this type of situation, OUPD presented the ALiCE training, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. ALiCE, and other programs like it, present a new type of response for situations with an active killer. Previously, the standard response was to simply go into lockdown.

“The problem with lockdown is that it was developed in prison with people who were not supposed to be able to get out,” Frith said. “But… many of the shooters either belong there like students in the school, like Harris and Klebold in Columbine, or it’s workplace violence much like the Navy Yard [shooting] that just occurred, and you can’t keep the person out because they’re supposed to be inside.”

Instead, the ALiCE program trains students and faculty members to do just as the name implies: fight and escape. It teaches that anyone trapped in a situation like this should fight the attacker if approaching, and proactively try to escape if not.

“It’s about giving you options and increasing your chances of surviving one of these situations,” Frith said.

A large portion of the training is focused on how to attack a shooter, if necessary, because it will increase the chances of surviving and stopping the shooting. An active shooter’s average hit rate is less than 50 percent, even in cases of close proximity and without resistance, Frith said.

Vice President of the OU Second Amendment Club Logan Shumaker said he thought the presentation was informative and helpful.

“Being part of the Second Amendment Club is partially trying to get the word out about things that could happen and how to prevent them, and knowing that the university is actively putting on things like this to aid with that is a step in the right direction,” he said.

OUPD has been training faculty, and more recently students, with the ALiCE program since the shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007.

“When it happens in a place like Virginia Tech, which is not much different than Ohio University by size of college or size of town… then you can see those correlations, and see that it can happen here,” Frith said.

He also said he hopes to make the knowledge common practice, similar to a fire drill.

“We’re not trying to make people paranoid. We’re trying to make them prepared… People wouldn’t be alarmed if we had fire drills, and we do. We teach fire drills to kids as young as they go in school. We touch them stuff like, if you catch on fire, what do you do? Stop, drop and roll. We all know that, right? So while this might seem like something that is a shock to some people, it just happens to be a reality in the world we live in much like fires are. All we’re trying to do is tell you how to stop, drop and roll.”

For more information about active shooter situations, visit OUPD’s website or watch Responding to an Armed Intruder.

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