UPD prepping for worst case scenario


“Protect this house” and “if you see something, say something” were all mottos used by the University Police Department (UPD) during Tuesday’s Active Shooter Training held in the SUB ballrooms.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, an active shooter is defined as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people with a firearm or firearms in a confined and populated area.”

Mark Johnson, the assistant director of UPD, went on to explain the law enforcement community has actually changed the name and type of training they teach to include more than just individuals who use firearms to cause damage.

“It’s actually changed from active shooter to active killer training, because it doesn’t always have to be a gun,” Johnson said.

Johnson and the rest of UPD have been hosting numerous of training events in hopes of educating attendees on how to react when put in a life or death situation.

One of the biggest things Johnson and his coworkers stress is that many of these situations can be prevented and avoided if the right steps are taken.

According to UPD many students are trained and only familiar with the “Lockdown” method.

A lockdown is a state of restricted access instituted as a security measure, but UPD says that should be one of your last options when dealing with an active killer.

“While lockdown is part of the plan most people think it’s the only plan. Lockdown is the last thing we want you to do no the first things that’s the first message we want to get out there,” Johnson said.

UPD asks students and faculty to always be aware of their surroundings and if they see something suspicious report it to immediately. They have various ways students and faculty can get in touch with them, be it through the 28 different call boxes around campus, their silent witness app or even their 24/7 call line; they are always available.

Avoid, deny and defend, known as ADD, is another program Johnson educates attendees to his lectures about. Avoiding the killer by any means necessary is the first step. Johnson sees a killer like a fire and says nobody would stand in a building that was on fire so why would they stand in a building knowing there’s an active killer inside.

Deny is next. If cornered or trapped in a building with a killer inside, one should do everything in their power to deny them access to oneself. If all else fails, defend is the last and final step to take while waiting for law enforcement to show up.

“It’s a very hard topic. This is not a topic that we should be talking about in school, and it’s sad that I have to take time to talk about this ,but nobody tells me it’s a waste of time,” Johnson said regarding the warm response he’s received from the community because of his training sessions.

Johnson has many more training sessions scheduled for this school year in various locations.

He also announced the approval of  a new rape prevention/self-defense course known as “The Equalizer Program.” The new program will be available within the next two weeks. It will only be open to female students at first. The event will be held at the Bayou Pointe Student Event Center.

Johnson did say that a male class will be a posibility based on the reception, the new program gets with the female only classes.