Feb 21, 2013
By Briagenn Adams and Corinne Colbert
The Ohio University Police Department will offer a repeat presentation next week on actions anyone can take to protect themselves and others in an active shooter situation.
Public training in ALiCE—which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Escape—was first offered Feb. 18. The second presentation will be 7-9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, in Baker Center Theatre. It also will be streamed live online.
OUPD Chief Andrew Powers said the ALiCE training helps people plan a strategy for survival if a gunman were to stage an attack.
“Even if unarmed, people can still evaluate the situation before them and make informed choices about how to respond,” Powers said. Through the program, participants learn that they are not helpless in such situations and are given a series of response options from which to choose depending on the specific circumstance.
The initial session was presented by Powers, Capt. Brian Kapple and Officer Kevin Frith. Powers began the session with a brief introduction to ALiCE and its intentions.
“Ohio University is not like a high school,” said Powers. “We simply don’t have the ability to lockdown campus in the event of an active shooter.” He went on to note that a simple lockdown is not always the best choice to begin with, and that an options-based response like ALiCE is a better alternative.
Using the ALiCE technique requires alerting other people in the region that an active shooter is present, locking down the immediate are if possible, informing authorities of the situation, countering the attacker using skills to distract and confuse, and finally evacuating to reduce the number of potential targets.
The presenters showed two videos from actual shootings: a training film of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting and the 2010 Panama City School Board shooting in Florida. Although graphic, the videos were intended to create awareness and promote actions that should be taken during an active shooter situation. Many of the victims of the Columbine incident were easily shot because they were defenseless and stunned “static targets,” hiding under tables.
Kapple said a shooter’s only muscle a gun, and a lot of the time the shooter doesn’t know how to use it properly. He explained that in an emergency, anything can potentially be used as a weapon against the attacker, even a notebook or cell phone to throw as distraction, making time to either disarm the shooter or run away.
In addition to the two videos, the officers screened a 20-minute movie, “Shots Fired on Campus,” which stressed the importance of acquiring a “survival mindset” during an emergency. That requires awareness, preparation and rehearsal of a situation. It is essential to be mindful – not fearful, but to look at the surrounding environment with an eye toward survival and to pay attention to anything out of the ordinary.
Kapple said that although ALiCE is not the only solution in an active shooter situation, it definitely plays a major role. He also said it would be very beneficial for professors at Ohio University to take 10 minutes out of the first day of class to briefly provide students with a general understanding of ALiCE procedures.
The event is free and open to the public. To view the live stream, go to http://www.ohio.edu/mediaserver/live.cfm?videoid=bf51c274c748 at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27.