Campus police have recently added an active shooter segment to UVSC’s emergency plan, outlining what students should do if someone opens fire on campus.
According to UVSC’s Chief of Police, John Brewer, the active shooter incident plan is a compilation of recommendations based on previous school shooting incidents. It includes directions on what students should do if they are directly or indirectly involved in the shooting, where they should go and who they should call.
If there is a gunman at large at UVSC, students are advised to exit the building immediately and leave campus in an orderly manner, warning other students as they go. Public safety personnel may ask students to identify themselves as they leave, in order to determine who is still on campus.
If students are directly involved and unable to exit the building, the plan recommends that they go to the nearest office or room, close and lock the door and cover its windows. Students should not answer the door, but should remain quiet and wait for law enforcement to help them out of the building.
In both situations, students should call 9-1-1 or campus police. Campus police can be reached by calling ext. 5555 from any campus phone, or (801) 863-5555. They should give the dispatcher their names and location, the number of people involved, and the number and description of the shooter or shooters, if known.
According to Brewer, the plan will eventually include an emergency response, reverse 9-1-1 systems, and practices of emergency operations. These procedures are in the planning stages and will begin to be implemented early next year.
Brewer said that while the plan is not required by law, adding it to the emergency plan was important. "Active shooter policies are not legally mandated at this time, but [it] certainly is the responsible thing to do," he said.
"School shooting situations are not considered likely anywhere, but they have happened and need to be addressed by prevention programs and contingency plans for effective response," Brewer said.
In addition to the plan’s instructions, Acting Sergeant Justin Sprague said students can help prevent a shooting by reporting suspicious behavior. "Just report it right away," Sprague said. "We’d be happy to check it out. We’d rather be safe than sorry."
The full text of the active shooter incident plan can be found at www.uvsc.edu/police/Active%20Shooter.htm