Grand Valley Police Department

Active Shooter Response

HOW TO RESPOND


Additional resources:  

Contact the GVSU Police Department for additional information.  Non Emergency (616)-331-3255

Information for this page was taken from "Active Shooter:  How to Respond" a plan prepared by the Office of Homeland Security.  This information provides guidance to individuals who may be caught in an active shooter situation, and discusses how to react when law enforcement responds. 
 
An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.  Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims. Because active shooter situations are often over within 10 to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.
 
RECOGNIZING SIGNS OF POTENTIAL VIOLENCE
An Active Shooter may be a current or former employee or student.  Alert your police department if you believe a student or employee exhibits potentially violent behavior. Indicators of potential violent behavior may include one or more of the following:
  • Increased use of alcohol and/ or illegal drugs
  • Unexplained increase in absenteeism, and /or vague physical complaints
  • Depression/ Withdrawal
  • Increased severe mood swings, and noticeable or emotional response
  • Increasingly talks of problems at home or school. Dark written or verbal communications
  • Increase in unsolicited comments about violence, firearms, and other dangerous weapons and violent crimes

HOW TO RESPOND WHEN AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IS IN YOUR VICINITY
Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life.  Students and visitors are likely to follow the lead of employees and managers during an Active Shooter situation.
 
1)  EVACUATE
  • Have an escape route and  plan in mind
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Keep your hands visible 

2)  HIDE OUT   

  • Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the door when possible

3)  TAKE ACTION

  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger 
  • Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter   
  • Act with physical aggression and throw- items at the active shooter   

CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO!

 
 
HOW TO RESPOND WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT ARRIVES ON THE SCENE
1. How you should react when law enforcement arrives.   
  • Remain calm, and follow officer’s instructions
  • Immediately raise hands and spread fingers
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as attempting to hold on to them for safety.  
  • Avoid pointing, screaming and/ or yelling
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premise.
     
2. Information you should provide to law enforcement and/or dispatchers
  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters, if more than one
  • Physical description of shooter(s) 
  • Number and type of weapons held by the shooter(s)
  • Number of potential victims at the location.
     

Additional Active Shooter References 

Page last modified January 28, 2013