Review what to do when law enforcement arrives

Law enforcement’s purpose is to stop the active shooter as soon as possible. Officers will proceed directly to the area in which the last shots were heard.

The responding officers:

  • Usually arrive in teams of four

  • May wear regular patrol uniforms or external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment

  • May be armed with rifles, shotguns and handguns

  • May use pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation

  • May shout commands and may push people to the ground for their safety

Responding officers probably don’t know who the shooter is or how many perpetrators are involved. It’s important for you to be recognized as a victim.

When law enforcement arrives:

  • Remain calm, and follow officers’ instructions

  • Put down any items in your hands (e.g., bags, jackets, phones)

  • Immediately raise hands and spread fingers

  • Keep hands visible at all times

  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers, such as holding on to them for safety

  • Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling

Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering.

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