Hostile Intruder On Campus


 

In recent years we have seen a dramatic increase in the number and severity of violent acts committed against members of school campuses.

The probability of similar incidents happening at Nyack College is minimal.  However, you should become familiar with the following recommendations to increase your chances of survival if a violent incident does take place.

The guidelines suggest response and management procedures for a hostile intruder or shooter:

  • In non-residence halls.
  • In residence halls.
  • On the grounds.

Hostile Intruder in a Non-Residence Hall

When a hostile person is actively causing death or serious bodily injury, or the threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury to those within an academic or office building, we recommend the following procedures be implemented.

The recommendations refer mainly to academic buildings but these procedures are also appropriate for administrative buildings and other common buildings on campus.

During

  • Faculty should immediately lock the students and themselves in the classroom.  If possible, cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway.
  • If communication is available, call 911 first then call Campus Safety by dialing x7191 from a campus phone or (845) 222-8812 from a private or public phone.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm. A fire alarm would signal unknowing occupants to evacuate the building and could place them in potential harm as they attempt to exit.
  • NyackAlert Emergency Notification message (e2campus) via text and email will be sent to the entire campus.
  • Lock the windows and close blinds or curtains.  Barricade the door with furniture or other heavy objects.
  • Stay away from the windows.
  • Turn off lights and all audio equipment.
  • Try to remain as calm and quiet as possible.
  • Keep classrooms secure until Police arrive and give you directions.   
  • If you are not in a classroom try to get to a classroom or an office.   
  • Stay out of open areas and be as quiet as possible.
  • If possible, identify the person, his/her location and if there is a weapon.
  • Do not confront the person.
  • If possible, obtain a physical description of the person (clothing, hair color, build, etc.).
  • Make a plan with others in the room about what you will do if the shooter enters.  Make a total commitment to action and act as a team with others.
  • Do whatever is necessary to survive the situation.
  • If you have injured in the classroom, post the red room numbered paper on the outside window.
  • If no injured and you are able to leave the room, post green room numbered paper on the outside window.

Develop a survival mindset.  Take time to understand your surroundings and environment before an emergency occurs.  Ask yourself “What if?” questions and develop a plan. 

Believe your senses.  Act quickly and carefully to get out of harm’s way.  If you can exit the building, do so.  If not, find a safe room that you can lock yourself in until you are rescued.

If you are isolated from others:

  • Find a place to hide but keep in mind that the intruder may search the building for people or property.
  • If you think you can safely make it out of the building by running then do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects such as desks, cabinets, fixtures, etc., between you and the hostile person. Once outside, do not run in a straight line. Use trees, vehicles and other objects to block you from the view of intruders. When away from the immediate area of danger summon help any way you can and warn others.
  • If the person is causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
  • Your last option if you are caught in an open area in a building may be to fight back. This is dangerous but, depending on your situation, this could be your only option.
  • Once the Police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve your being handcuffed or keeping your hands in the air while they evaluate the situation. This is done for safety reasons and once the Police evaluate circumstances they will give you further directions to follow. The goal of the Police is to get everyone out of the building alive. The details can be sorted out later.

Hostile Intruder in a Residence Hall

When a hostile person is actively causing deadly harm or the imminent threat of deadly harm within a residence hall we recommend that the following procedures be implemented.

During

  • Lock yourself in your room.
  • If communication is available, call 911 first then call Campus Safety by dialing x7191 from a campus phone or (845) 222-8812 from a private or public phone.
  • If away from your room, join others in a room that can be locked.
  • Do not stay in the open hall.
  • Do not sound the fire alarm. A fire alarm would signal the occupants in the rooms to evacuate the building and thus place them in potential harm as they attempt to exit.
  • NyackAlert Emergency Notification message (e2campus) via text and email will be sent to the entire campus.
  • Barricade yourself in your room with desks, beds or anything you can push against the door.
  • Lock your window and close blinds or curtains.
  • Stay away from the window.
  • Turn all lights and audio equipment off.
  • Try to stay calm and be as quiet as possible.
  • If possible, identify the person, his/her location and if there is a weapon.
  • Do not confront the person.
  • If possible, obtain a physical description of the person (clothing, hair color, build, etc.).
  • Once the Police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve your being handcuffed or made to put your hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons and once the Police evaluate circumstances they will give you further directions to follow.
  • If you are caught in an open area such as a hallway or lounge, here are some options to consider:
  • Find a place to hide but keep in mind that the intruder may search the building for people or property.
  • If you think you can safely make it out of the building by running then do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line.
  • Keep any objects you can between yourself and the hostile person while in the building.
  • Once outside, do not run in a straight line. Use trees, vehicles or any type of object to block the hostile person's view of you from the residence hall as you run.
  • When away from the immediate area of danger summon help any way you can and warn others.
  • If the person is causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
  • The last option you have if caught in an open area in the dorm maybe to fight back. This is dangerous but, depending on your situation, this could be your only option.

Hostile Intruder on the Grounds

When a hostile person is actively causing deadly harm or the imminent threat of deadly harm on the grounds, we recommend that the following procedures be implemented.

During

  • Run away from the threat if you can, as fast as you can.
  • Do not run in a straight line.
  • You may notice people who are confused or panicked and running in different directions. Do not stay in the area of the problem. Leave the area if you can or find a cover location for yourself so you will not be in the path of the hostile intruder.
  • Keep vehicles, bushes, trees and other potential obstacles between yourself and the hostile person while you are running.
  • If you can get away from the immediate area of danger, summon help and warn others.
  • 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?
  • If the person is causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
  • The last option you have if caught in an open area outside may be to fight back. This is dangerous but, depending on your situation, this could be your only option.
  • Once the Police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve your being handcuffed or made to put your hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons and once the Police evaluate circumstances they will give you further directions to follow.

Keep in Mind:

  • Figure Out: What action gives me the best chance to survive? Quickly evaluate and act.
    • Get Out: Can I safely get to a safer location? If yes, do so immediately. Don’t wait for others to validate your decision. Leave your belongings behind.

OR

  • Hide Out: If you can’t get out safely, find a place to hide. Look for a place that offers some protection, is well hidden, and offers options for movement.
  • Call Out: When you are in a safe location, immediately call out to authorities via 911, don’t assume someone else already has called. Tell the dispatcher:
    • Where you are.
    • Who the shooter is: name if known and description.
    • Current location of the shooter.
    • Number and types of weapons involved.
    • Injuries you are aware of.
  • Keep Out: If you must hide out, do what you can to stay unnoticed and keep the shooter out.
    • Lock the room door if possible.
    • Turn off the room lights.
    • Block the door with heavy objects.
    • Keep quiet, put cell phones and pagers on silent/vibrate.
  • Spread Out: If there are two or more people in a space, spread out.
    • Spreading out, rather than huddling together, causes the shooter to hesitate in looking for targets.
    • This also gives you more options for action and opportunities to get out.
    • Before you spread out, quickly and quietly plan what to do if the shooter enters the area.
    • Everyone in the space must get into a survival mindset and commit to working together to survive.
    • Remain calm, which can be contagious, and keeps others focused on survival.
  • Take Out: If a shooter enters your space, assume his/her intentions are lethal.
    • Stick to your plan to take out the shooter, others will follow when you act.
    • Use anything you have with you and in the room as weapons.
    • As soon as the shooter enters, yell loudly and throw things at him/her, aiming for the face. His/her first reaction will be to shield himself/herself. Rush at the shooter and act as a team to overcome him/her.
    • Total commitment is critical; don’t give up until you have won!