Avoid, Deny, Defend: LUPD hosts first campus-wide active shooter training



Avoid, deny and defend –– a phrase that weighs heavily on the nation. With school shootings dating back to the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 and more recently Michigan State University, officials from the Lamar University Police Department have come together to ensure that LU students, faculty and staff are prepared for worst-case scenario.

The university held its first university-wide Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events training, or CRASE, a course built on the “Avoid, Deny, Defend” strategy. Developed by Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center in 2004, ADD provides strategies for guidance and a proven plan for surviving an active shooter event. Nearly a half-dozen LUPD officers gathered in the Lamar University Setzer Student Center on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 21 to do a live demonstration of the university’s response to an active shooter.

Athletics Director Jeff O'Malley

Lamar University Sergeant Ryan Colt '21 said the campus-wide event has been in the making for months in hopes of not only educating the campus on the ADD strategy, but to prepare them in the event of an active shooter on campus or any public place.

“We’re wanting to be as prepared as possible if it happens here on campus. We especially want to show everyone the proper procedures –– we follow the doctrine issued by ALERRT because it’s been proven to be one of the best,” he said.

The 1.5-hour long training included a video that showcased real-life active shooter events and outlined the “Avoid, Deny, Defend” survival method and possible actions that individuals can take if confronted by an active shooter scenario. The event also included a showcase of breaching tools used by LUPD officers in emergency situations.

“We have our breaching tools displayed so that our campus community can get an idea of what we use in the event of an active shooter,” Sergeant Ryan said. “Also, showing what we have and actively use as a police department helps to put our campus and our students at ease –– they can have confidence in knowing that we are trained in emergency situations and can help. door barricade

Sergeant Ryan said avoiding the area, denying the gunman entry to where you are and, if all else fails, defending yourself is one of the best methods to help keep the campus safe and save lives. LUPD is also exploring the idea of door barricades to be installed in all classrooms and offices by the end of the year.
“The idea is to have this mechanism in place so that it stops the door from opening both inward and outward in the case of an active shooter,” he said. “We would love to have these installed on campus by the end of the year –– it’s in the works.”

The next CRASE training is set to take place on Tuesday, March 21 at 11:30 a.m. in the Setzer Student Center Ballroom.