What expert says to do in case of campus shooter

Posted at 7:42 PM, Oct 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-01 19:42:47-04

CINCINNATI -- From first shot to last, most active-shooter incidents are over in minutes. What campus police and faculty do during that time could mean life or death.

Planning and training are of paramount importance when it comes to handling an active shooter situation.

"Every campus that I know of in the country has a plan for how they will respond, and most have a plan for how they will try to prevent -- but ultimately, it's up to the shooter as to how this is going to unfold," said Gene Ferrara, former University of Cincinnati police chief.

Most schools also have a communications procedure in place, he said. And the number of police departments on college campuses continues to grow nationally.

"About 75 percent of public universities and colleges are armed, commissioned police officers, because this happens so fast that to wait for an outside agency to come in, that's just more people being killed or injured," Ferrara said.

If you find yourself in danger -- or near an active shooter -- Ferrara says it's just as critical for you to know what to do.

"Get away if you can, and then if not, hide in place, lock the doors of where you are to keep the shooter out -- that's, of course, if you are not in the room with the shooter -- and then lastly, fight," he said.

UC and other campuses retrain their officers every year on how to respond to active shooters. It's also a good idea for students to sign up for text message alerts; you can find emergency notification resources for Tri-State universities and colleges below: