Active Shooter Preparedness
Emergency Plan In the Event of Active Shooting or Hostage Incidents on the John Jay Campus:
The vast majority of the nation’s students will complete their schooling without ever being involved in campus violence. However, recent events have created uncertainty on every campus and although the likelihood of an attack is minimal to ignore the possibility would be irresponsible and reckless. President Travis has instructed his administrators to review and improve our existing emergency procedures and to develop proactive measures to identify individuals or groups of individuals that present a possible threat to the community..
Threat assessment is a process of identifying, assessing and managing the threat that certain persons may pose to college communities. The goal of threat assessment is to intervene before an attack can occur. Incidents of targeted violence at schools are rarely sudden, impulsive acts. Prior to most incidents, other people knew about the attacker’s idea and/or plan to attack. Most attackers did not threaten their targets prior to advancing the attack. However, they engaged in some behavior, prior to the incident that caused concern or indicated a need for help. Many were known to have difficulty coping with life or had personal failures. Some considered or attempted suicide. They felt bullied, persecuted, or injured by others prior to the attack. The key to threat assessment is to discover these persons and get them help. Simply removing them may heighten the threat against the school.
According to government research, the persons who engaged in targeted school violence were not “invisible”. Nearly all the individuals studied engaged in behaviors that caused concern to at least one person, usually an older contact and most concerned at least three persons. The persons with the most intimate contact with students are usually faculty, fellow students and counselors. They can be the best resource the College has in identifying a crisis before it occurs. The President has reactivated the College’s Crisis Response Team Committee. The Committee’s job is to develop a manual for policy and procedures in dealing with students in crisis. A student in crisis will include but not be limited to:
- A student who presents an actual or potential danger to self and/or others.
- A student whose behavior disrupts the academic integrity of a classroom learning environment and/or college community.
- A student undergoing a severe emotional distress such as psychosis, trauma, and other mental health concerns.
- A student subject to domestic violence-related issues.
- A student who requires emergency medical attention.
The Committee is comprised of members of the college community representing diverse disciplines concentrating on those who have the most frequent contact with students or student related problems. A senior administrator chairs the committee.
The College has taken preventive measures prior to an event of this nature. Attempts to “harden the target” have been made for several years and are ongoing. Currently there is an access control system at the entrance to all of our facilities. The system gives the Department of Public Safety the option to deny access to unwanted individuals as well as the ability to monitor the movements of suspicious individuals on campus. The high visibility of this system at the entrance in itself acts as a deterrent to intruders. The College is also equipped with a CCTV system. This system is advertised by signage posted throughout the campus. Both systems have been effective as investigative tools in the past. The College is now inspecting the campus in an effort to expand the system. John Jay currently conducts multiple fire drills each semester. These drills have reinforced our confidence that we can fully evacuate the buildings quickly and in an orderly fashion. Due to recent events, the College is planning a mock disaster drill in the near future which will include outside agencies. Currently we have intercom systems in each building and emergency phones located in all restrooms, elevator lobbies, science labs, and areas of concern on campus. We are now investigating additional locations for emergency phones and the use of phones as panic devices in selected locations. The College is part of the CUNY Alert System which is capable of sending out an instant message on members of the community’s cell phones, home phones, e-mails, and text messaging devices to provide a vehicle for notification of a campus emergency that is more immediate. We will also be examining how to perhaps use our new phone system for emergency notification purposes and the plasma screen kiosks that are located across the campus. The College is equipped with emergency lighting and the building including our fire alarm system is backed-up by emergency generators. Emergency kits that include first-aid kits, AM-FM portable radios and flashlights are strategically placed in key areas of the College.
Our campus is covered by two NYPD precincts as well as both Manhattan Borough Commands. North Hall is within the confines of the 20th Precinct while Haaren Hall, the New Building, the BMW Building, Westport, and the 54th Academic Annex Building are the responsibility of the Midtown North Precinct. The College has maintained good relationships with both as well as Engine 40 of the FDNY. We have a strong cooperative relationship with St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital and Fast-Care Ambulance Service. The College Department of Public Safety in collaboration with the University Public Safety Office is in the process of reaching out to the NYPD EDP Training Program with the goal of training our personnel in the identification and handling of emotionally disturbed persons. Information regarding emergency procedures and violence in the workplace is posted on the Department of Public Safety webpage. Campus floor maps are available in each lobby and any concerns regarding campus safety can be addressed by calling the Director of Public Safety at (212)237-8524.
Procedures During a Violent Attack on Campus:
In the event that a hostile individual or group engages in violent activity that threatens or causes death or serious physical injury to any member of the college community within a campus facility the following procedures should be implemented:
If you are unable to safely evacuate:
- If communication is available call extension 8524 or 911. If you are using a college phone dial 8888. Try to stay calm and supply the responding Public Safety officer with as much relevant information as possible such as exact location, type of weapon and how many suspects.
- Faculty should immediately remain in the classrooms and attempt to secure the door by chocking the bottom with a leather belt or other object. If possible, cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway.
- Do not sound the fire alarm. Activation would cause the occupants to evacuate the building and place them in potential harm as they attempt to exit.
- Stay away from doors and windows, turn off the lights and any audio equipment and stay as low to the ground as possible.
- Stay together as a group, remain quiet and act as if no one is in the room. Do not answer the door until Department of Public Safety personnel or the police arrive and give you further instructions. When the police arrive, obey all commands. This may involve being handcuffed or keeping your hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons until the situation can be evaluated. It is a common ploy for perpetrators to mingle with hostages or victims to attempt escape.
- If you are not in a room try to get inside an office or classroom. Stay out of open areas and be as quiet as possible.
If you are trapped in an open area:
- You can try to hide, but make sure it is a well-hidden space or you may be found as the intruder moves through the building looking for victims.
- If you think that you can safely make it out of the building by running, then do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects such as desks, cabinets, fixtures, etc. between you and the attacker. Upon leaving the building, continue to seek cover. Upon reaching safety, report to the nearest police officer to be accounted for and supply information.
- If the attacker is causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to escape you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
- Fighting back is dangerous, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option.
- If you are caught by the attacker and are not able to fight back, obey all commands and do not look the subject in the eye.
- If you are taken hostage remain calm, be patient and avoid drastic action. Follow the hostage taker’s instructions. Do not speak unless spoken to and avoid arguments.
- Stay alert and be observant. You may be released or be able to escape. The safety of others may depend on your memory.
- Once again, when the police arrive obey all instructions.