Guidelines from CSUPD for the Campus Community: Response to Shooting Violence on Campus

Updated February 15, 2008

This type of incident is unpredictable, and your immediate response depends on the situation you face. The following guidelines have been developed based on the best practices established by those of us at the Colorado State University Police Department and other law enforcement experts.

If it is possible to do so safely, exit the building immediately when you become aware of an incident, moving away from the immediate path of danger, and take the following steps:

  1. Notify anyone you may encounter to exit the building immediately.
  2. Evacuate to a safe area away from the danger, and take protective cover. Stay there until assistance arrives.
  3. Call 911, which will connect you with highly trained CSU Police Department dispatchers, providing the following information:
    • Your name
    • Location of the incident (be as specific as possible)
    • Number of shooters (if known)
    • Identification or description of shooter(s)
    • Number of persons who may be involved
    • Your exact location
    • Injuries to anyone, if known
  4. Individuals not immediately impacted by the situation are to take protective cover, staying away from windows and doors until notified otherwise.

If you are directly involved in an incident and exiting the building is not possible, the following actions are recommended:

  1. Go to the nearest room or office.
  2. Close and lock the door.
  3. Turn off the lights.
  4. Seek protective cover. This may be under a desk or table or anywhere else that offers some concealment.
  5. Keep quiet and act as if no one is in the room.
  6. Do not answer the door.
  7. Notify 911, if it is safe to do so, providing each dispatcher with the following information:
    • Your name
    • Your location (be as specific as possible)
    • Number of shooters (if known)
    • Identification or description of shooter
    • Number of persons who may be involved
    • Injuries if known
  8. Wait for law enforcement officers to assist you out of the building.

The CSU Police Department (CSUPD) is a full service professional law enforcement agency that is trained and equipped to respond to an emergency incident of this nature. During the initial phase of the incident, the CSUPD and, if necessary, other law enforcement agencies, will evaluate the situation to determine the best course of action for the safety of the CSU community. Once the CSUPD and other units respond, they will be responsible for all tactical operations.

Again, I hope this information is never needed, but I provide it in the interest of campus safety and addressing the many questions we have received since the Virginia Tech incident. You will receive an additional update about how the CSU campus prepares for any type of emergency, how you can expect to be notified in the event of an emergency and other planning information that might be helpful to students, faculty and staff.

Your safety and security are of utmost importance to the institution and we will do our best to keep you informed about procedures and plans for responding in the event of a crisis.

Chief D. Yarbrough
Chief of Police
Colorado State University Police Department