On campus and work-place violence incidents are rare, but it is important to be informed and prepared. The CU Denver Emergency Management Division is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
An active harmer situation is dynamic and evolves rapidly. In general, how you respond to an active harmer will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter.
In the event of an active harmer incident, the following guidance, and procedures can be used.
How to respond when an Active Harmer is in your vicinity
To respond to an Active Harmer, quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life and constantly evaluate your options of Run, Hide, and Fight. Remember that visitors are more likely to follow the lead of students, faculty, and staff during an active harmer situation.
If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:
Have at least two escape routes and plans in mind
Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
Leave your belongings behind
Help others escape, if possible
Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
Keep your hands visible
Follow the instructions of law enforcement
Do not attempt to move wounded people
Call 9-1-1 from a campus landline or 303-556-5000 from your cellphone when safe to do so
If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active harmer is less likely to find you.
Your hiding place should:
Be out of the active harmer's view
Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (e.g., an office with a closed and locked door)
Not trap you or restrict your options for movement
To prevent an active harmer from entering your hiding place:
Lock the door
Blockade the door with heavy furniture
If the active harmer is nearby:
Lock the door
Silence your cellphone and other electronic devices
Turn off any source of noise (e.g., radio, television, etc.)
Hide behind large items (e.g., cabinets, desks, etc.)
If evacuation and hiding are not possible:
Dial or text 9-1-1 or 303-556-5000 to contact Campus Dispatch, if possible, to alert police of the active harmer's location
If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen
As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active harmer by:
Acting as aggressively as possible against the active harmer
Throwing items and improvising weapons
Committing to your actions
Work together as a team
Seek sanctuary by proceeding to a room that can be locked. Close and lock all windows and doors and turn off all lights.
If possible, get down on the floor and ensure that no one is visible from outside the room.
Call the Auraria Police Department at 303-556-5000 from a cellphone or 9-1-1 from a landline phone and calmly advise the dispatcher of the events and inform him/her of your location. Dialing 9-1-1 from a cellphone, will connect to the Denver Police
Remain in place until the police, or a campus administrator known to you, gives the “all clear”.
Seek sanctuary by proceeding to a room that can be locked. Close and lock all windows and doors, turn off all lights and get down on the floor.
OR, if you can do so safely, exit the building.
Try to remain calm and call Auraria Police Department at 303-556-5000 from a cellphone or 9-1-1 from a landline phone if possible, and alert police to the active harmer’s location.
If you can’t speak, leave the landline open so the dispatcher can listen to what is taking place. Normally, the location of a 9-1-1 call on a campus landline phone can be determined without speaking.
If there is absolutely no opportunity for escape or hiding, it might be possible to negotiate with the harmer. Attempting to overpower the harmer/shooter with force should be considered a very last resort after all other options have been exhausted.
If the active harmer leaves the area, proceed immediately to a safer place, and do not touch anything that was in the vicinity of the active harmer.
No matter what the circumstances, if you decide to flee during an active harmer 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 or campus administrators.
Active Harmer Response Training
CU Denver | Anschutz Emergency Management Division and the Auraria Campus Police department provides monthly AHR Trainings. If your school, department, or college would like to host an Active Harmer Response Training, email us at: email@example.com