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Active Shooter Information

Please take a few moments to watch this video.

The safety and security of our staff, faculty and students is our highest priority.  It is our goal to prepare and educate the CBS community to the best of our ability for possible emergency situations.  With the increase in active shooter/armed intruder incidents nationwide, we believe it is best to be prepared and on how to handle an active shooter situation if it ever occurs in the future. 

CBS strongly recommends viewing and becoming familiar with the tactics suggested in the “Run. Hide. Fight.” video. 

An active shooter is a person who appears to be actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area; in most cases active shooters use firearm(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. These situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly, demanding immediate deployment of law enforcement resources to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to innocent victims. This document provides guidance to faculty, staff, and students who may be caught in an active shooter situation, and describes what to expect from responding police officers.

We cannot predict the origin of the next threat; assailants in incidents across the nation have been students, staff, faculty and others. In many cases, there were no obvious specific targets and the victims were unaware that they were a target until attacked. Being aware of your surroundings, taking common sense precautions, and heeding any warning information can help protect you and others on the campus.

Guidance to faculty, staff and students:

In general, how you respond to an active shooter will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter, bearing in mind there could be more than one shooter involved in the same situation. If you find yourself involved in an active shooter situation, try to remain calm and use these guidelines to help you plan a strategy for survival.

Active Shooter – Shelter-in-Place

 

If an active shooter is outside the building:

• Proceed to a room that can be locked, close and lock all the windows and doors, and turn off all the lights; if possible, get everyone down on the floor and ensure that no one is visible from outside the room. One person in the room should call 911.

• Advise the 911 dispatcher of what is taking place, and inform him/her of your location; remain in place until the police or a campus administrator known to you, gives the “all clear” announcement. Unfamiliar voices may be the shooter attempting to lure victims from their safe space; do not respond to any voice commands until you can verify with certainty they are being issued by a police officer.

If an active shooter is in the building:

• Determine if the room you are in can be locked and if so, follow the same procedure described above. 

• If you cannot lock the room, determine if there is a nearby location that you can reach safely and can be secured, or if you can safely exit the building. 

• If you cannot safely exit the room or building, quickly move to the same wall as the interior door, as far away from the door as possible. Quietly put something (desks, file cabinets, chairs, etc.) between you and the shooter. If several individuals are in the room, space yourselves apart to avoid becoming a “group” target for the shooter. 

• Refrain from creating any loud noises, and place your cell phone in “silent” mode so it does not ring audibly and reveal your location. 

• If you decide to move from your current location, follow the instructions outlined below. 

If an active shooter enters your office or classroom:

• Try to remain calm. Dial 911.

• Alert police to the shooter’s location; if you cannot speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can listen to what is taking place. 

• Attempting to overpower the shooter with force should be considered a very last resort, after all other options have been exhausted. 

• If the shooter leaves the area, proceed immediately to a safer place and do not touch anything that was in the vicinity of the shooter.

If you decide to flee during an active shooting situation:

• Make sure you have an escape route and plan in mind. 

• Do not attempt to carry anything while fleeing.

• Move quickly, keep your hands visible and follow the instructions of any police officers you may encounter. 

• Do not attempt to remove injured people; instead, leave wounded victims where they are and notify authorities of their location as soon as possible. 

• Do not try to drive off campus until advised it is safe to do so by police services or College administrators.

What to expect from responding police officers:

Police officers responding to an active shooter are trained in “rapid deployment” procedures and proceed immediately to the area in which shots were last heard; their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible. 

The first responding officers will normally be in teams of four (4); 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. Be aware as you are attempting to exit the area. Responding officers may not recognize you, and may need to confirm your identity before allowing you to proceed. 

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

Active Shooter Training and Drills

Training videos are offered on our website so that they can be viewed anytime. 

In coordination with the Houston Police Department (HPD) and Houston Fire Department (HFD), the College of Biblical Studies will conduct scheduled drills to simulate an on-campus active shooter.  These drills will not only prepare CBS staff and faculty, but will also allow the HPD and HFD to familiarize themselves with the layout of our campus, should they ever need to answer such a call.