As a police sergeant, you can imagine my dinnertime conversation may be different than other folks’. Recently, the topic turned to the “lockdown” drill the kids practiced in school that day. They were instructed to lock the door, shut off the lights and be quiet. Good. Then, they were told to gather together in a group. Bad. I disagree as this is different than what Federal Law Enforcement teaches. The Department of Homeland Security has great information on what to do in an active shooter scenario.
I took the opportunity to teach them to RUN, HIDE and FIGHT. I will be contacting the school to do the same. The order of these three words is important.
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1. The first and best option is to RUN. If you know you can get out of the building and to a safe location, then RUN and RUN as far as you can.
2. If running is not an option because you are in between the only exit and the suspect, then HIDE. I don’t mean just going into a room and locking the door. Get in a room, lock the door, turn off the lights and barricade the door. Do everything in your power to keep someone from coming into that room. Once you have barricaded your room, spread out and prepare to fight if the suspect gets in. Create a plan so everyone knows what to do if the shooter makes entry. If the shooter gains access, they are forced to make a decision who to target first. This gives the group a chance to attack or escape.
3. Finally, if the suspect has entered the area you are hiding or started harming people in the same vicinity as you, FIGHT. Several people can work together by throwing things, making a tackle attempt or disarming if possible. There may be injuries, yes, but the majority will have a better chance of subduing the shooter and surviving the situation. Whether you take action or not, there are life threatening risks involved. Make the decision now to go home to your family.
Police may be minutes and even seconds away. The absolute best chance of survival is putting these three actions into play. Always remember RUN, HIDE, and FIGHT. It may save you one day. For more information, please use the following resources.
Run, Hide, Fight video courtesy of FBI.