There are many things to consider when there is an active shooter on campus and on September 16, 2015, Captain Maddox took to Center Stage at Open Campus/Deerwood Center to teach students how to protect their life.
Shocked and silenced were the students during the Campus Security Awareness Meeting as Captain Patrick Maddox, head of the security team, opened up his presentation with a serious question.
“What would you do if someone came to this campus and began shooting?” asked Captain Maddox. The students didn’t respond as Maddox continued, “Many of you don’t know because you’ve never been trained on what to do and that’s why we are here. Security does more than just hand out parking decals.”
If there were a shooter on campus, the first question to ask is what is important now (W.I.N)? Quickly students must decide to run, hide or fight. Maddox explains that all students have to decide which is the best choice for them, but they all have to decide immediately in order to protect their life.
If the student decides to run, they must consider the College’s escape route and the designated exits. “What would you do if we go to a lock down?” asked Maddox. Maddox recalls the old training students received which was to hide under the desk and wait for police to arrive. This is not what Maddox recommends today.
Reminding the students of the Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and Columbine shootings, confirmed that waiting and hiding is not always a reasonable way to save one’s life.
Florida State College at Jacksonville adopted APM 06-0910 Emergency Communication and Evacuation plan which establishes procedures and responsibilities for immediate communication and prompt evacuation of securing of College facilities in emergencies, if necessary, to ensure the safety and well-being of life and the protection of property. A.L.I.C.E is the latest training tool which will be used to ensure protection of the College facilities. A.L.I.C.E. stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.
“There is a gunman on the first floor wing A.L.I.C.E has been activated” said Maddox. This is what students may hear if there is a shooter on campus and they need to act.
“Don’t just lockdown and wait for the shooter to come in and start shooting” said Maddox. Textbooks and chairs can be used as defense weapons and Maddox recommended the students to use what was necessary to save their lives.
Students were asked to participate in a shooting scenario to learn what to do if they were locked down. As FSCJ student Andre Henley pointed a laser beam at five paper targets placed on the floor, it was clear how easily five hiding victims could be shot by the shooter when students do no resistance. Maddox then asked Henley to repeat his attack and the second time, the students attempted to stop the active shooter using a distracting light, small sponge balls and movement.
“It’s a lot harder to shoot a little laser on the floor when somebody’s throwing stuff at you and distracting you. It was especially harder when you felt people grabbing on you and people grabbing my arm, I couldn’t even concentrate. They grabbed the other arm but I couldn’t concentrate with the laser” said Henley.
Maddox said it takes seven to eight minutes on average for the average law enforcement to respond and most of the killing takes place in the first four minutes. “When they come here to shoot they have already made a decision” said Maddox.
“I feel that I really need to defend myself in and under any circumstances no matter what” said FSCJ student Kyle.
The presentation ended with Open Campus/Deerwood Center students chatting and enjoying light refreshments with the security team and staff members.
Gordon Bass, director of Security said, “We want to be involved in this campus community. I am very pleased by the turn out and participation by students and professors. One of our goals is to build partnerships with our campus communities and I am very pleased at the reception and level of involvement. The Student Life and Leadership team played a tremendous role in making this event a huge success. We will be conducting the meet and greets on a quarterly basis on each campus. Thanks again to all who attended and participated.”
Join them and learn how the FSCJ Campus Security team is here to protect you. Maddox and his team provided information on sexual assault, by-stander intervention, stalking, how to protect your valuables and identity theft. Look for upcoming events on FSCJ’s calendar page and join them to learn how the FSCJ Campus Security team is here to protect you.
Submitted by April Tate, Advisor I, Open Campus/Deerwood Center