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Active shooters, fires and evacuation procedures: IUPD's plans to protect campus



run hide fight

Individuals should choose to either run, hide or fight in the case of a shooter on campus. In crises, IU-Notify can alert students and employees of danger in a variety of ways.  Emily Eckelbarger Buy Photos

Some days, the Indiana University Police Department crime logs have nothing to report. Other times, crises are called in and steps must be taken to protect IU's nearly 50,000 students.

Capt. Craig Munroe of IUPD said their job in an emergency is largely to communicate threats to individuals on campus.

The IU-Notify system, a tool for alerting students and employees to immediate danger, plays a large role in this communication.

Messages from IU-Notify can be sent via call, text, email or other digital means.

“We recommend that you get the emails because they often have more information than what you would receive on a text message,” Assurance Communications Manager Tracy James said, “But we also recommend you get the text because those get to people the quickest.”

IU’s dispatch team has a list of templates set up in the system in order to notify people quickly when an incident occurs.

James said the goal of this form of notification is to keep people out of harm's way.

Munroe said when IUPD is alerted to a crisis, officers are dispatched to verify it and an IU-Notify alert is sent out as soon as possible.

“All we have to do is plug in a location and some real quick pertinent information and then that goes out within minutes of being notified,” he said.

While emergencies do happen, Munroe said they have been rare in his 37 years with IUPD. Theft and alcohol-related incidents are the primary crimes the department deals with.

“It’s mostly just taking care of people that drink a little too much and have a little too much fun,” he said.

Here is what happens when it becomes more severe.

Active shooter

IU encourages people to use the Run Hide Fight strategy when dealing with an active shooter or aggressor.

The Protect IU website makes it clear these are not meant to be sequential commands. Individuals should choose to either run, hide or fight in the case of a shooter on campus.

Running is the preferred option, but only if a safe path is available. Hiding is necessary when running is not an option, and fighting the assailant should be a last resort.

Munroe said in the case of an active shooter, the Bloomington Police Department as well as state patrol would likely come to the scene.

Fire

If there is a fire, smoke or the smell of something burning in a building, evacuate. If a fire alarm is sounding, Indiana law requires a complete evacuation. This also applies to drills.

In the event of a fire, IUPD would work with the Bloomington Fire Department as support. Munroe said they have some hoses to be used if necessary, but the fire department would be in charge of the scene.

A fire should always be reported before someone attempts to put it out, and if there are doubts about whether the fire can be extinguished, no one should try, according to Protect IU.

If a fire alarm system fails, IUPD is responsible for performing a fire watch for the building until the system can be fixed.

Contamination, severe weather, etc.

IU may recommend individuals shelter in place in the case of dangerous contamination, severe weather or an active shooter. 

This recommendation would likely be released via IU-Notify along with instructions. Information would also be broadcast over the radio and on television.

Procedure for what kind of action should be taken varies based on the type of emergency.

In all situations, windows, doors and other exits should be closed. Protect IU recommends those taking shelter have a hard-wired telephone in the room in case of further emergency.

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