Active Threat/Active Shooter

An active threat is any situation that presents an immediate and ongoing danger to the safety of UConn students, faculty, staff, and visitors. In addition to individuals using firearms (active shooters), other types of weapons and behavior can create active threat situations. These are matters of urgent concern not only at UConn, but at universities and other large public spaces nationwide. The UConn Division of Public Safety regularly conducts training exercises to provide an effective response to active threat situations. The following information is provided to members of the UConn community to assist with individual awareness and preparation.

Before An Active Threat Occurs

  • Sign up for UConn Alerts.
    • Encourage your employees to sign up for UConn Alerts.
  • Ensure that your employees know these terms:
  • Identify secure hiding places.
  • Know two evacuation routes.
  • Keep your doors locked, even if you leave them open.
  • Assign roles and responsibilities in your department. Discuss what everyone will do and where they will go.
  • Develop a communications plan.
  • Get training from the Police Department.

Report Behavior

  • If you witness violence, or threatening or suspicious behavior, immediately move away from the area and call 9-1-1.
  • Always call 9-1-1 as soon as possible if an individual’s behavior causes you to feel threatened.
  • If someone is threatening to hurt themselves or another individual, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • If you have a concern about a UConn employee who is displaying behaviors that may interfere with his or her ability to be successful in the workplace or whose behavior is substantially interfering with the work environment of his or her colleagues, please let the Employees of Concern Team know.
  • Faculty, staff, friends, and family are frequently in a position to observe student behaviors that indicate distress or potentially compromised personal well-being. If you have a concern about a student who is displaying behaviors that may interfere with the student’s ability to be successful in the university environment, please let the Student Care Team know. You should also contact the Student Care Team if you are concerned that a student’s well-being is negatively impacting those around the student.

If You Are in the Area of an Active Threat/Shooter:

If it is determined there is an active shooter/threat in your vicinity, your first step should be to calmly and immediately move away from the area of the threat.

  • Evacuate
    • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
    • Take your cell phone with you, but leave other belongings behind.
    • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
    • Keep your hands visible.
    • Call 9-1-1 when safe to do so, and provide as much information as possible, such as your location, the number and description of suspects if known, and weapons used.

If you cannot evacuate the area:

  • Hide Out
    • Hide in an area out of the suspect’s view.
    • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors if possible.
    • Turn out the lights.
    • Close blinds.
    • Remain quiet.
    • Silence electronic devices.
    • Make your location look as though it is empty.
    • Call 9-1-1 when safe to do so.

If you are face to face with the suspect and your life is in imminent danger, take action.

  • Take Action
    • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
    • Use improvised weapons such as a letter opener, umbrella, furniture, etc.
    • Attempt to incapacitate the suspect.
    • Act with physical aggression and throw items to distract or disable the suspect.

If you are not in the Area of the Active Threat, but receive an Active Threat/Shooter Alert:

  • Immediately lockdown your room unless otherwise directed by Emergency Personnel or University Alerts.
  • During a Lockdown Order:
    • Calmly but quickly close and lock all doors into your room.
    • Block entry into your room, if possible.
    • Close and lock all windows in your room. Draw the blinds.
    • Turn off the lights.
    • Hide in an area that is out of view and makes your location look as though it is empty.
    • Silence all electronic devices.
    • Remain as quiet as possible and attract as little attention to your area as possible.
    • Wait for further instruction from University Alerts and Emergency Personnel.
    • Stay locked-down in your hiding place until your receive an “All Clear”.
    • Call 9-1-1 if an emergency arises in your area.
    • FACULTY: If you are teaching a class, say something along the lines of this message: “Attention everyone, we are being placed under lockdown. Please remain in this room and move to (an area in the room that is out of view). I am going to shut the lights off and lock and barricade the doors. Please silence your electronic devices. Let’s make it seem as if there is no one in this room. We will remain as quiet as possible and wait for further instruction.”
  • Text your family to let them know you are okay.
  • Closely follow the instructions of Emergency Personnel and UConn Alerts.

When You See Law Enforcement:

  • Remain calm and follow officers’ instructions.
  • Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Do not approach officers unless instructed by them to do so.
  • Avoid making quick movements towards officers.
  • Avoid pointing, screaming, and/or yelling.
  • Expect the initial responding officers not to treat the injured or begin evacuation until the threat is neutralized and the area is secure. Explain this to others.
    • Once the threat is neutralized, Police and Fire/Emergency Medical Services will begin treatment and evacuation.
    • You may be searched or escorted by police officers.
  • Follow all instructions from Emergency Personnel.

After an Active Threat/Shooter:

  • You may be taken to a triage or other holding area for medical care, interviewing, counseling, or other support services.
  • Remain in secure areas until instructed otherwise.
  • Once you have been evacuated, you will not be permitted to retrieve items or access the area until law enforcement releases the crime scene.
  • Pay attention to updates on counseling services, relief, memorial activities, and other important news about the event.