COLLEGE PARK, Md. - On the heels of recent college campus shootings across the country, the University of Maryland is being proactive by notifying students, faculty and employees about its own active shooter plan.
The school released a campus wide safety message last Tuesday urging students who find themselves in the middle of an active shooter event to run, hide or fight.
“If you are hiding and somebody tries to reach the door, tries to come in and you feel within your heart of hearts that they are about to harm you or try to take your life, we're saying you have to fight,” said University of Maryland Police Department Chief David Mitchell.
He said ten active shooter incidents so far this year on campuses nationwide prompted this alert.
Even so, Chief Mitchell also said fighting an armed attacker is a personal decision.
“The fight aspect is something that I think all of us have to decide individually, and if you're certain somebody is about to take your life, then fight,” said Mitchell.
We discussed the controversial fight clause with Securitas senior security advisor Terrance Gainer.
“That is the last resort,” he said. “The number one thing to do if you're in that situation is to try to get out of the way. That's where the run comes from. If that doesn't work, then you hide.
“But if push comes to shove, if the only thing you have left is to assault the shooter, then you or as many people as you're with have to make a lot of noise, use whatever weapons are handy and try to bring some calmness to the situation.”