How to respond to an active shooter

When it comes to having an active shooter on campus, some students agree they would be shocked, but others, like music major Samara Wilson, would take action.

“Initially I would be shocked, but I would snap out of it eventually and then probably try to help.”

Special education major Jaclyn Navan agreed with Wilson and said, “I would be shocked. I wouldn’t do anything, I guess, but I would see what I can do to help the situation or try to help someone who can.”

During a Faculty Senate meeting on Feb. 26 a handout was given to provide information on how to respond to an active shooter on campus.

The information provided by the handout gave instructions like, having an escape route in mind or hiding where a shooter cannot see you.

According to Chief of Campus Police, Richard Bukowiecki, the handout given provides students with the right information on what to do in the event of an active shooter.

For the police side of the situation, Bukowiecki stated that although he can’t fully disclose the tactics of Campus Police, there are some things students can expect to see.

“You would expect to see- (police officers) show up probably wearing protective armor, they would probably be wearing ballistic helmets. You would see them carrying assault rifles, as opposed to a normal handgun.”

The handout explains how the police officers main focus is getting to the shooter, and resolving the situation.

It would not be uncommon, according to Bukowiecki, to see a police officer not stop to help an injured person, his/her mind is on the shooter.

Students are encouraged to keep their hands in the air when evacuating a building in this incident, as to not be mistaken for a shooter.

Only as a last resort would a student be encouraged to try to take down the shooter, the handout does suggest throwing things at the shooter to try and incapacitate him/her

There are safety measures put into place for both older and new buildings.

According to Director of Physical Plant and Construction Services, David Moore, there is a mass notification system that is being used to alert students of an emergency on campus.

It was last used during the California Shake-Out earthquake drill on campus.

“We also have those LED boards in some of the buildings, so it flashes a written message as well for our hearing impaired students, or anyone else who wants to read it.” Moore said.

As for the new buildings, Bukowiecki stated that there is a feature that allows the doors leading to the outside to lock from the campus police station.

“It is up to the individuals in classrooms or offices to lock down their individual locations.” Bukowiecki said.

To alert students of an emergency there is a system called AlertU, which allows students to be able to sign up and receive texts when an emergency is occurring or has occurred on campus.

Bukowiecki said that out of an est. 22,000 students and faculty on campus there are only about 4,000 signed up for the service.

If there were to be an active shooter on campus, it would change the way some students view Cerritos College.

“I wouldn’t know what to do. I think I would try to get away from school, and after that it would be hard for me to continue at this school” Psychology major Alberto Dominguez said.