An active shooter is a person or persons who appear to be actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people, or injuring people, most often in populated areas. In most cases, active shooters use firearm(s). In some cases, active shooters use improvised explosive devices to cause additional victimization. Active shooter situations evolve rapidly, demanding immediate response by local authorities.
All active shooter events are to be reported to the Public Safety Office at the Loop Campus (312-362-8400) or the Lincoln Park Campus (773-325-7777) after calling 9-1-1. Thereafter, the Public Safety dispatcher will notify their officers immediately.
In addition, the following actions are recommended:
If you feel it is safe to leave the building/area:
- Exit the building immediately.
- As you move away from the threat, notify anyone you may encounter and inform them of the danger.
- Call 911 and Public Safety and give as much information as possible.
If exiting the building is not possible or you do not feel it is safe to leave the building:
- Go to the nearest room or office, close and lock the door.
- If the door does not lock, secure and barricade the door with as many obstacles as possible(desk, chairs, tables).
- Close shades/curtains on windows, turn off the lights and get down on the floor and seek protective cover. No one should be visible from the outside.
- Keep quiet and keep your cell phone on silent.
- When it is safe, call 911 and inform the dispatcher, of your location and provide as much information as possible. Stay there until Police or Public Safety arrive or give an all-clear.
If you are not immediately impacted by the incident, please take the following action:
- Stay away from the building/area.
- Notify everyone around you to stay away from the area.
- Obey all verbal direction given by law enforcement/public safety officers.
- Take protective action and stay away from door and windows.
All bomb threats are to be reported to the Public Safety Office at the Loop Campus (312-362-8400) or the Lincoln Park Campus (773-325-7777). Upon receipt of a bomb threat, the Public Safety dispatcher will notify their officers immediately after calling 9-1-1 .
The Public Safety Dispatcher shall:
- Notify the Chicago Police Department of the situation and request that they stand by to notify the Bomb and Arson Unit in the event an object is found;
- Notify Public Safety supervisors at both Loop and Lincoln Park Campuses;
- Deploy appropriate personnel to conduct a search of the relevant areas; and
- Instruct all personnel engaged in the search not to use radios in the affected area.
The supervising Public Safety officer of the threatened campus will:
The Director of Public Safety or the appropriate administrative command person will notify the Public Relations and Communications Department, in a bonafide situation.
- Obtain the assistance of personnel familiar with working in the affected area in the search;
- Coordinate the search by Public Safety and other personnel;
- Consult the non-public safety administrative person in charge of the affected area about feasibility of evacuation; and
- Notify the Director of Public Safety or the appropriate administrative command person, in conformance with the departmental notification, of the situation and advise on the feasibility of evacuation.
In the event that an object is found:
- The Chicago Police Department will be notified in person or by telephone that the Bomb and Arson Unit is required;
- The evacuation of the affected area will be ordered, jointly, by the ranking Public Safety person and the non-Public Safety person on the scene;
- The deployed Public Safety personnel will isolate the affected area, assist in the evacuation, and open all windows in the affected area; and
- The evacuees will be sent to a site that is sufficiently distant from the area.
In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, through its Public Safety Office, the University will report all felonies and serious misdemeanors, which are reported to them or they observe or view, to the Chicago Police Department via 9-1-1 as soon as possible, regardless of whether the victim/complainant refuses to cooperate in the investigation or has a change of mind about reporting the crime and provide statistics on these crimes in its annual security report.
For lesser misdemeanors against the University, e.g. minor damage to property, the Public Safety officer will check with his/her supervisor about reporting to the Chicago Police Department.
For lesser misdemeanors perpetrated against a person (student, faculty, staff or visitor), victims will be encouraged and assisted by Public Safety to report the crime to the Chicago Police Department. If the victim refuses to notify the police, Public Safety will indicate "victim refuses" in its report of the incident, but will proceed to report the alleged crime to the police if warranted or deemed advisable by the Director of Public Safety.
Once informed of a crime, the University is committed to assisting the victim to feel safe, secure, and free from further harm. The University will make all attempts to provide a calm and supportive environment for the victim. When a victim approaches an administration official who has primary responsibility for students and/or campus activities, e.g., deans, student affairs administrators, administrative directors, and Public Safety officers, with intent to report alleged crime, the victim will be informed of the University's reporting responsibilities before any information is revealed.
The University’s campuses and suburban facilities are located in cities with well-trained, responsive police and fire departments equipped to handle all emergencies. If a major or serious crime occurs at any University campus, the police in that jurisdiction, will, once on the scene, take control of the situation as provided by law. The Public Safety Office relies on the Chicago Police Department for assistance in formulating crime prevention techniques and planning for the future.
The following is a listing of some of the crime prevention programs and projects implemented by DePaul University at its Chicago campuses:
- House Telephones and Emergency Call Boxes—Both interior and exterior emergency communications linked to the Public Safety Office are located throughout the Chicago campuses;
- Closed Circuit Television Surveillance—CCTV is used in the buildings at the Loop Campus and to a limited extent in buildings, residence halls and parking garages at the Lincoln Park Campus;
- Electronic Alarm Systems—An electronic monitoring system located at both Chicago campuses monitors a network of intrusion detection, fire alarms and duress alarm systems;
- University Photo Identification Card—Each DePaul University faculty, staff and student is issued a DePaul University photo identification card. This card is needed to gain access to eleven of the residence buildings and parking garages, to purchase food in the cafeterias, to attend University functions and for security purposes;
- DPU Alert—In the fall of 2008, the University added a voice and text message notification system to notify the University community of on-campus emergencies. The University will send DPU Alerts in major, life threatening emergencies and will follow all appropriate security and privacy procedures in maintaining information in our system. The University also tests the system on a regular basis; and
- PA and Message Board Emergency Notification—In the fall of 2008, additional resources were put in place to alert the University community of an emergency. At the Chicago campuses, a message board and speaker have been placed in each classroom, along with additional speakers situated in hallways. In an emergency, the message boards and speakers will detail the emergency taking place. The system will be tested quarterly.
Numerous efforts are made to advise members of the campus community on a timely basis about campus crime and crime-related problems. These efforts include the following:
In the event of a hostage situation, University personnel shall call 9-1-1 and then contact Public Safety. Public Safety will then coordinate with and take direction from local authorities.
A “lockdown” is a temporary sheltering technique utilized to limit civilian exposure to imminent threat of violence. A lockdown will be made only if there is a serious risk of danger to staff, faculty and students. The general purpose of a lockdown is to convert a building into a large “Safe Room.” The decision to initiate building lockdown procedures may be at the discretion of University officials or in response to a request by local law enforcement officials.
Responsibilities of Public Safety
In the event of a situation requiring the initiation of building lockdown procedures, Public Safety Officers will perform the following tasks to the extent possible:
- Declare and initiate the lockdown directive;
- Activate appropriate emergency notification systems;
- Immediately respond to the scene;
- Contact and coordinate with the Chicago Police Department;
- Provide security for the scene;
- Advise Facility Operations staff to switch to the Public Safety radio channel;
- Lock and secure perimeter building doors with assistance from Facility Operations staff, custodians and maintenance personnel as needed;
- Post pre-printed signs on all lobby doors; and
- Attempt to discourage building occupants from exiting the building.
Lockdown involving a Traditional Residence Halls
During a lockdown involving a traditional residence hall, all Resident Education staff in the residence hall are to report to a pre-determined area to assist with lockdown and communications, as follows:
- Lock and secure perimeter building doors and, if possible, electronically disable student access cards;
- Post signs on all doors indicating that the building is locked down and that no one will be permitted to enter;
- Evacuate the lobby desk;
- Notify building occupants of the lockdown; and
- Discourage students from exiting the building.
Suspicious Mail or Packages
Distribution Services is responsible for processing all official University mail sent and received by faculty and staff based at the Loop and Lincoln Park Campuses. However, business and academic units occasionally receive mail and/or packages directly, particularly by courier. They are advised to be wary of envelopes or packages delivered to their office that display one or more of the following characteristics:
Should a piece of mail or a package that displays the above-listed characteristics be received and there is suspicion the item may contain an explosive, chemical, biological or radiological threat:
- No return address;
- Misspelled words;
- Envelopes or packages sealed with excessive tape;
- Poor type or illegible/unusual handwriting;
- Incorrect name, address or title;
- Powder or other substance seeping through packaging;
- Excessive postage;
- Protruding wires;
- Strange odors emanating from the item;
- Oily stains, crystallization or other discolorations on packaging material.
- Isolate the item immediately;
- Do not open, move, smell or taste the suspicious item;
- Leave the immediate area and warn others in the area to do the same;
- Call Public Safety for further instructions and assistance.
Threats of Violence
The University strives to maintain an environment free from intimidation, threats (direct or implied) or violent acts. The University will not tolerate intimidating, threatening or hostile behavior of any kind. This includes threats, physical abuse, stalking, vandalism, arson, sabotage, possession or use of weapons of any kind on University property, or any other act that is dangerous in the workplace. Any object, regardless of its nature, is considered to be a weapon when used in a threatening or violent manner.
If a threat seems imminent or if violent behavior is in progress, 9-1-1 should be called immediately for police assistance. At campuses where Public Safety is available, they should be called after 9-1-1.
Upon learning of a threat of violence, faculty and staff should notify their manager, Vice President or Dean, Public Safety and/or Human Resources as soon as possible, and provide assistance with the investigation as necessary. Incidents may be reported anonymously if a victim feels that it is in his/her best interest to do so.
Employees who believe that they have been subject to any of the behaviors listed above or who observe or have knowledge of a violation of the Human Resource policies and procedures shall immediately report the incident to their manager, Vice President or Dean and to Public Safety and/or Human Resources. Complaints will be promptly investigated. When the results of an investigation indicate the necessity to do so, disciplinary action up to and including discharge of individuals engaging in intimidating, threatening or hostile behavior will be taken.
Public Safety will work with Human Resources as well as outside police agencies, as necessary, to investigate complaints or incidents and initiate appropriate follow-up action.