Suggested Hostile or Violent Person Protocol

If you witness any armed individual on campus at any time, immediately contact Safety and Security at 651-696-6555 and call 911.  

No campus is immune from tragedy, thus it is helpful to think in advance about how you might respond in the face of a dangerous/violent situation.  We rely upon all community members to be extensions of Safety and Security and police eyes and ears. When you see something out of place, a suspicious abandoned package or someone in a building who shouldn’t be there, you need to take action and notify Safety and Security of your concern. 

While no policy or protocol is fail safe, we recommend that in the event of a violent situation you take the following actions: 

Assess the situation

  1.  If it is possible to flee the area safely and avoid danger, do so.
  2.  If you are not in the immediately or adjacent area, seek safety within a building or room, close and lock doors and windows, turn lights off and stay quiet and hidden.
  3. Call Safety and Security at 651-696-6555 and the police at 911.
  4. Get the word out to others.
  5. Get on the floor behind a desk, remain silent.
  6. Wait for instructions i.e. Macalester Alert text message, email, or voice announcements from a known authorized voice.
  7. Be aware there may be more than one source of active danger. 

For more information about following items see below

  1. Hostile or Violent Person
  2. Shooting Situation
  3. Hear or See Gun Shots
  4. Hostage Situation

Additional Information

If the danger is outside the building: 

  • Turn off all the lights, close and lock all windows and doors.
  • If you can do so safely, get all students on the floor and out of the line of fire.
  • Move to a core area of the building if safe to do so and remain there until an “all clear” instruction is given by an authorized known voice.
  • If the staff or students do not recognize the voice that is giving instruction, they should not change their status.
  • Unknown or unfamiliar voices may be false and designed to give false assurances. 

If the danger is inside the building: 

  • If it is possible to flee the area safely and avoid danger, do so.
  • Contact Safety and Security with your location if possible.
  • If flight is impossible, lock all doors and secure yourself in your space.
  • Get down on the floor or under a desk and remain silent.
  • Get students on the floor and out of the line of fire.
  • Wait for the “all clear” instruction. 

If the danger comes into your class or office: 

  • There is no one procedure the authorities can recommend in this situation.
  • Attempt to get the word out to other staff if possible, and call 651-696-6555 or 911 if that seems practical.
  • Use common sense. If hiding or flight is impossible, attempt to negotiate with the individual.
  • Attempting to overcome the individual with force is a last resort that should only be initiated in the most extreme circumstances.
  • Remember, there may be more than one active danger.
  • Wait for the “all clear” instruction.
  • In a shooting situation, the Safety and Security is in charge until emergency response personnel are on the scene.
  • Be careful not to make any changes to the scene of the incident since law enforcement authorities will investigate the area later.
  • In case you must flee, do not go to the normal gathering site for your building. Get as far away from the shooting scene as possible and then contact authorities.

We would also like to make you aware of the Macalester’s standard practices for a Hostile/Violent Person, Shooting Situation and Hostage Situations.  We recognize that all situations are different and these suggestions are listed to allow a calculated response to these incidents.

Hostile or Violent Person

  • Initiate immediate contact with Safety and Security to ensure that a timely response is begun before the situation becomes uncontrollable.
  • Leave the immediate area whenever possible and direct others to do so.
  • Contact Safety and Security at 651-696-6555 and 911 as soon as possible

Shooting Situation

  • Contact Safety and Security 651-696-6555 and 911 as soon as possible.
  • Provide a description of the person, nature of behavior, and the last known location of the person.
  • Safety and Security will immediately notify police.

Hear or See Gun Shots

  • Contact Safety and Security 651-696-6555 and 911 as soon as possible.
  • Provide a location of shots and if known, a description of the danger, any injuries and condition of person who has been shot, if known.
  • If in the area of the danger, take cover behind cement or solid items (in newer buildings most interior walls are sheetrock and don’t provide the required protection).
  • Use furniture or heavy items for protection.
  • Shut off lights.
  • Stay away from windows and out of sight.
  • Assist others if possible.
  • Stay quiet – do not draw attention to yourself.
  • Do not pull or sound any fire alarm devices in an attempt to alert other people of the incident or to frighten the suspect.
  • If possible, call 651-696-6555 and 911 and tell the exact location if the suspect is still shooting, type of weapon, and if there are any injuries.

Hostage Situation

  • If taken hostage:
  • Be patient.  Time is on your side. Avoid drastic action.
  • The initial 45 minutes are the most dangerous. Follow instructions and be alert. Captors are emotionally unbalanced. Don’t take any action which could harm your well-being.
  • Don’t speak unless spoken to and then only when necessary. Don’t talk down to or attempt to rationalize with the captor. Avoid appearing hostile. Maintain eye contact with the captor at all times if possible but do not stare.
  • Try to rest. Avoid speculating. Comply with instructions as best you can. Avoid arguments. Expect the unexpected, severe mood swings, irrational actions, etc. Displaying a certain amount of fear can possibly work to your advantage.
  • Do not make quick or sudden moves. If you must go to the bathroom, need medications, or first aid, ask your captors.

Once the local police arrive, they will be briefed on the situation and it will be turned over to them.  There will be a communication link between the local police, Safety and Security, and the Crisis Response Team.

MAC Alert emergency message system will transmit information as quickly as possible. Monitor MAC Alert mobile phone text message, email, and voice mail for updates.

Always be observant. The personal safety of others may depend on what you remember about the situation.

Keep Yourself Calm – Keep Others Calm

In an emergency, call 911 and Campus Security 651-696-6555. Give your campus location and describe the emergency situation.

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