CRAT training walks students, staff, faculty through how to address active threats on campus
MUPD officers explained their modified “Run, Hide, Fight” technique, as well as the differences in active threats and other crimes.
May. 26, 2018
MU Police Department hosted active threat training on Tuesday in Jesse Auditorium. The training, Citizens’ Response to Active Threats, was open for all MU faculty, staff and students.
MUPD Chief Doug Schwandt explained that CRAT is based on and adapted from the Department of Homeland Security’s Run, Hide, Fight program and Greg Crane’s active shooter response: Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate program.
“This is a timely topic and it’s a distressing topic in a lot of ways, but it’s important,” Schwandt said.
Schwandt said that MUPD also provides this training for individual departments and offices on campus. In addition, the MU Alert system is run by MUPD and Schwandt said that the on-duty officers are the ones to make the call on which alerts to send out to the public.
This is because most active threat situations are over in a short amount of time. MUPD officers Jacob Clifford and James Young showed an infographic which included the amount of casualties, injuries and the duration of five different school shootings. Clifford pointed out that the duration went down significantly over a course of several years due to higher security presence in public and citizens having more training on active threat protocol.
“If you look at the timeline of these incidents throughout the country, they’re over in minutes,” Schwandt said. “So by the time [someone] gets the message, most likely they’re going to be close to ending.”
Young and Clifford also explained the difference between active threats and other crimes, such as burglaries or robberies. They said that with other crimes, the criminal has a “retirement plan,” meaning they want something tangible like money and can be negotiated with. A person using a gun to murder unarmed people at a school will more likely want something intangible, like notoriety or revenge, and may be suicidal.
“They [the active shooters] want to be remembered,” Clifford said. “They want us to still talk about them, they want to be on the news, and their name to be heard.”
The officers also showed a video MUPD made in 2016, titled “Surviving an Active Shooter.” The video told viewers specifically what to do in the case of an active shooter, using voiceovers and actors as demonstration.
The video explained DHS’ “Run, Hide, Fight,” approach. It said that the first step is to safely exit the building and get as far away as possible.
If, however, students are not able to leave, they should barricade themselves in a room and away from the shooter. Clifford said this was not ideal, as it can trap people inside. In years past, most people only learned lockdown drills, which should not be the only option, Clifford said.
Clifford showed a picture of students hiding in a classroom during the shooting at Virginia Tech University in 2007. In the picture, students are sitting on the floor against a wall with the lights off. He said that this unfortunately made them easy targets if the shooter were to enter, and therefore was not the preferred situation.
Finally, students should fight back if necessary. Young and Clifford demonstrated defense tactics that may be used on a dangerous person, such as the proper way to grab a person’s arm if they’re holding a weapon.
Schwandt, Young and Clifford opened the floor for the audience to ask questions after their presentation. One attendee asked about when an active threat is the responsibility of MUPD and when it’s the responsibility of the Columbia Police Department. He posed the hypothetical of a school-sanctioned event that is technically off campus but hosted by the university.
Schwandt said that MUPD and CPD work closely together and have technology in place for communicating about locations and security activity at university events.
“It’s like a marriage,” Schwandt said. “You need good communication for it to all work.”
Young and Clifford showed resources for further training, such as small group self-defense courses and individualized CRAT training which includes scenario-based information and roleplaying. Departments and clubs can sign up for the presentations and training here.
Edited by Morgan Smith | firstname.lastname@example.org