After the tragic events that happened on Feb. 14 in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, every school in the nation is working on ways to prevent this to happen elsewhere.
“Active shooter incidents are often unpredictable and evolve quickly,” the email from Public Safety inviting students and faculty to the conference, said. “Anyone can play an integral role in mitigating the impacts of an active shooter incident.”
As part of this movement, Manhattan College invited Lieutenant David Kalin, field intelligence coordinator for the NYPD Counter Terrorism Unit, to talk about the procedures in case of a possible shooting on campus.
During the conference, videos exemplifying the contrast between what to do and what not to do were shown, and the correct procedures on how to operate in an extraordinary situation like this were explained to the community.
“I would say [the talk] was definitely instructive, but I thought it would be more geared towards college; residence halls, dining halls or other populated areas on campus,” Kaitlyn von Runnen, RA and class of 2019, said. “In the future, I would want to see more training towards this, maybe during freshman orientation or during RA training. As an RA myself, this is something very important that should be addressed.”
And even if the conference was focused on specific actions and what ifs in situations where life is endangered, in the moment it happens, most people are shocked and clueless on what to do. That’s why, the NYPD has a practical training where organizations are trained in real scenarios with real actors to stimulate people to think on their feet.
“We have what’s called CRASE: Civilian Response Acting Shooter Event. it’s a whole day event, we have presentations, and then we demonstrate how to lock down, how to barricade…” said Lt. Kalin. “Then we go for lunch, we come back and we make a drill where we have a gunman and people have to properly react to the attack.”
After the activity is practiced once, the main errors are highlighted and a review of how to deal with them in a proper way is imparted by the NYPD. The exercise is executed a second time and the results show that there is significant improvement in how people react, which means that they are more prepared for a real situation than before.
The other main goal of the presentation, besides informing people how to react in case an active shooter situation occurs, is how to prevent this to happen by being vigilant in our day to day activities.
“In most of the cases, people see something and do nothing about it,” Lt. Kalin said. “And I think that’s where we can become very proactive. Because there are signs before they actually do this, and we might be able to stop it beforehand. “
Run, Hide, Fight are the three actions to take in case something like this happens, as stated by the NYPD, and More detailed information about these protocols can be found under the Manhattan College’s Public Safety webpage.