• Emergency Response Guide
    Response to a Hostile Intruder Situation (Active Shooter)

    I. Introduction

    There has been an increase, in not only the number, but also the severity of violent incidents in schools in the past few years. It is apparent that campuses of higher education need to be prepared in case there are similar incidents at the university or community college level. The events and incidents of the past several years have given institutions the opportunity to review and revise policy and procedure in reference to hostile or aggressive intruder situations.

    Time is of the essence and quick and decisive actions may very well be the difference between life and death for community members. Although this type of situation is unlikely, the Triton College community, as a whole, must be prepared to put this plan into effect and minimize the damage to life and property that a hostile intruder can evoke.

    It should be noted, as evidence from past incidents has shown, active shooter(s) intent upon killing innocent person(s) will not stop until opposing forces engage the shooter.

    II.Hostile Intruder in a Building (Shelter in Place)

    When a hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious bodily injury or the threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury to person(s) within a building, the following procedures are recommended.

    While the guide refers primarily to academic buildings, it should be stated that these procedures are also relevant to administrative buildings and other common buildings on the campus:

    Escape is always one’s best option, but not always possible. If one knows the location of the hostile intruder and can confidently escape the area, this is the best choice. However, one must consider that there could be more than one offender. If escape is not a viable option, sheltering in place is recommended.

    A. Faculty and staff should immediately lock students and themselves in the classroom or office. If possible, cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway. Barricade doors if necessary.
    B. Dial “911” from office phones or the House Phones (RED or BLACK) located throughout campus, or via cell phone. Be aware that the “911” system will likely be overwhelmed by the incident, so try other numbers as well:

    708-456-6911 (TCPD Direct)

    708-456-0300 x3206 (TCPD)

    708-453-2121 (River Grove PD)

    Program emergency numbers into your cell phone (TODAY) before an incident occurs
    C. Do not sound the fire alarm. A fire alarm would signal the occupants to evacuate the building and thus place them in potential harm as they attempted to exit.
    D. Lock the windows and close blinds or curtains.
    E. Stay away from the windows and doors.
    F. Turn off lights and all audio equipment.
    G. Keep occupants calm, quiet and out of sight
    H. Keep everyone together.
    I. Take adequate cover/protection i.e. concrete walls, thick desks, filing cabinets (cover may protect you from bullets)
    J. Silence cell phones, but call police first
    K. Place signs in exterior windows to identify the location of injured persons
    L. Keep classrooms secure until police arrive and give directions.

    III. Shelter in Place: Un-securing an area

    A. Consider risks before un-securing rooms
    B. Remember, the shooter(s) will not stop until they are engaged by an outside force
    C. Active shooter(s) may try to trick victims into opening a secure area by saying they are other victims needing help or by posing as rescue personnel.
    D. Attempts to rescue people should only be made if it can be accomplished without further endangering the persons inside a secured area
    E. Consider the safety of the masses vs. the safety of few
    F. If doubt exists for the safety of the individuals inside the room, the area should remain secured
    G. Know all alternate exits in your building

    IV. Hostile Intruder in a Building (Other options)

    If not in a locking classroom or office, one may try to evacuate the building or get to a locking classroom or office. If one is caught in an open area, such as a hallway or lounge, he/she must decide what to do. This is a very crucial time and it can possibly mean life or death. Where possible;

    A. Stay out of open areas and be as quiet as possible.
    B. One can try to hide, however, if one is hidden and injured, police and EMS may have a difficult time finding them. Yet, hiding is a valid option.
    C. If one can safely make it out of the building by running, then he/she should do so. Do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects such as, desks, cabinets, fixtures, etc… between you and the hostile person(s).
    D. Once outside, do not run in a straight line. Use trees, vehicles and other objects to block you from the view of intruders.
    E. When away from the immediate area of danger, summon help any way you can and warn others.
    F. If the intruder(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and one is unable to run or hide, he/she may choose to play dead if other victims are around.
    G. One’s last option, if caught in an open area in a building, may be to fight back. This is dangerous and probably a final option, but depending on the situation, this could be one’s only option.
    H. If one is caught by the intruder and is not able to fight back, one should obey all commands and not look the intruder in the eyes.
    I. Once the police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve being handcuffed, or keeping hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons, and once the police evaluate circumstances, they will give you further directions to follow.

    V. Hostile Intruder(s) (on the grounds of the campus)

    When a hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious physical injury or the threat of imminent death or serious physical injury to person(s) on the grounds of Triton College, following procedures are recommended.

    A. Run away from the threat if you can, as fast as you can.
    B. Do not run in a straight line.
    C. Keep vehicles, bushes, trees and anything that could possibly block your view from the hostile person (s) while you are running.
    D. If you can get away from the immediate area of danger, summon help and warn others.
    E. If you decide to hide, take into consideration the area in which you are hiding. Will I be found here? Is this really a good spot to remain hidden?
    F. If the intruder(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and one is unable to run or hide, he/she may choose to play dead if other victims are around.
    G. One’s last option, if caught in an open area, may be to fight back. This is dangerous and probably a final option, but depending on the situation, this could be one’s only option.
    H. If one is caught by the intruder and one is not able to fight back, one should obey all commands and not look the intruder in the eyes.
    I. Once the police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve being handcuffed, or keeping hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons, and once the police evaluate circumstances, they will give you further directions to follow.

    VI. What to Report

    A. Your specific location/building name and office/room number
    B. Number of people at your specific location
    C. Injuries and the number injured, types of injuries
    D. Assailant(s) location, number of suspects, race/gender, clothing description, physical features, types of weapons (long gun or hand gun), backpack, shooter’s identity, if known, and explosions other than gunfire, etc

    VII. What to Expect From Responding Police Officers

    Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained to proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard; their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. As mentioned, normally, the active shooter will not stop unless engaged by opposing forces.

    The first responding officers will normally be in teams of four to six officers (4-6); they may be dressed in regular patrol uniforms, or they may be wearing external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment. The officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, or handguns, and might be using pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation.

    Regardless of how they appear, remain calm, do as the officers tell you, and do not be afraid of them. Put down any bags or packages you may be carrying and keep your hands visible at all times; if you know where the shooter is, tell the officers.

    The first team of officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured people; rescue teams composed of other officers and emergency medical personnel will follow the first team of officers into secured areas to treat and remove injured persons.

    Keep in mind that even after you have escaped to a safer location, the entire area is still a crime scene; police will usually not let anyone leave until the situation is fully under control and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Until you are released, remain at whatever assembly point authorities designate.