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ActiveShooter:HowPreparedDoestheKUCampusFeel

ByKristinaPadilla
LastNovember,twomaskedmaleindividualswalkedintoaKUclassroom.
Uncertainoftheindividualsintentions,manystudentsfearedfortheirsafetyand
huncheddownintheirseats.Theindividualsweredetainedshortlyafterthedisruption
andwerenotinpossessionofweapons.Theeventwasasubtlereminderofwhatcould
havehappenedandwhathashappenedonfartoomanycollegecampuses;thescenarioof
amaleindividualstormingcollegeclassroomsandopeningfireondefenselessstudents.
Accordingtoa2014reportconductedbytheFBI,AStudyofActiveShooter
IncidentsinUnitedStatesBetween2000and2013,thenumberofmassshooting
incidentshasincreased150percentfrom2007to2013.Theattackshaveprimarily
occurredincommercialareas,butschoolsarethesecondlargestgrouping.
TheCongressionalResearchServicedefinesmassshootingas,incidents
occurringinrelativelypublicplaces,involvingfourormoredeathsnotincludingthe
shooter(s)andgunmenwhoselectvictimssomewhatindiscriminately.
KUsPublicSafetyOfficeprovidesaninformativeresponseguidetofollowinthe
eventofanactiveshooteroncampusontheirwebsite.Yet,aninformalsurveyof42KU
studentsrevealedthat,althoughnearlyallwereawareoftheemergencytextmessaging
system,onlytwowereawareofKUsactiveshooterprotocol.
Communityeducationisacriticalcomponentthatfactorsintooverallsurvival
rate;lawenforcementresponsetimecannotbetheonlydeterminantoftheoutcomeofan

activeshooterincident.FurtherfindingsfromtheFBIstudydiscoveredthemajorityof
attacksendedinfiveminutesorless,and60percentendedbeforepolicearrived.
Sometimestheresponsebylawenforcementisdeterminedbywhenweare
calledbythepublic,thatswhytheeducationalpieceforthepubliciskey.Ifyousee
something,saysomething,saidtheCapt.ofKUspolicesupportunit,JamesAnguiano.
Butifstudentsarenotprovidedappropriateinformationaltraining,theymaynot
knowwhatbehaviortolookoutfor.AccordingtotheFBILawEnforcementBulletin,
AddressingtheProblemoftheActiveShooter,severalactiveshooters,display
observablepreattackbehaviors,which,ifrecognized,canleadtothedisruptionofthe
plannedattack.
AsidefromtheactiveshooterresponseguideonthePublicSafetyOfficewebsite
andtheemergencytextnotificationsystem,studentscanreceivetraining,eitherby
requestorduringCampussafetyweek,Anguianosaid.Howmanystudentswould
requestsuchtraining,particularlywhennotevenawareofthepossibility?
Ifstudentsdonotfeeladequatelypreparedfortheeventofanactiveshooter,the
responsibilitythenfallsontofacultytobeprepared.ButthedegreetowhichKUfaculty
hasbeentrainedonappropriateresponsesisunclear.
AssistantProfessorYvonnesChenhasnotreceivedactiveshootertrainingatKU,
butwantstoknowtheprotocolsoshecanprotectherselfandstudents.
Somebodyneedstobeincontrol,shesaid.
ChenwashiredatVirginiaTechmonthsafterthemassshootinginApril,but
experiencedtwoshootingincidentsduringhertimethere.Knowingthestandard

procedureinresponsetoanactiveshooterkepthersafeherduringboth.Trainingisan
immediatesolutiontotheproblem,shesaid.
Itisalwaysbesttobeproactiveratherthanreactive,especiallyconcerningthe
possibilityofanactiveshooterontheKUcampus.Ensuringstudentsandfacultyare
providedwithongoingopportunitiestoreceivetrainingwouldincreasethelevelofsafety
feltbytheKUcommunity.