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Is Your Campus Prepared to Respond to Violence?

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Institutions of Higher Education represent 7.5% of all violent attacks in the United States from 2000-2013. The number of incidents may be smaller, but more deadly. These shootings resulted in 60 dead and 60 wounded. This means that there is a 1:1 killed to wounded ratio that far exceeds the annual norm of only 15% of gunshot wound victims succumbing to their wounds. The reason for this is too many passive and static targets in a confined space waiting for law enforcement to arrive. Too many victims did not know that there are simple strategies available to them.

There are guidelines and recommendations specific to Institutions of Higher Education for how they should prepare for and respond to violent events.

  • The US Department of Education’s guidelines are for proactive, options-based response like ALICE. The guidance indicates that lockdown as a standalone policy is no longer enough and that those in harm’s way should make their own survival decisions. These recommendations are supported by the FBI, DHS, DOJ, FEMA, and DHHS.
  • The Clery Act requires that these institutions have a response plan and must practice it. Institutions must alert and inform when attacks occur and they must disclose information regarding violence.
  • The International Association of College Law Enforcement Administrators’ (IACLEA) “Blueprint for Safer Campuses,” recommends, “Faculty, staff and students should be trained on how to respond to various emergencies and about the notification systems that will be used.”

The ALICE Solution

ALICE empowers unarmed people collectively to save more lives during any violent attack — terrorist attacks, active shooter events, and violence. Rather than waiting passively for the police to arrive, ALICE empowers people. This is achieved by cultivating a survival mindset and instilling confidence in how skills already known can have a great impact on increasing survival with ALICE proactive, options-based training. These ALICE protocols transfer the power from the attacker to the victims and turn everyday actions into life saving measures.

The real first responders must be the people who are on scene when a violent attack begins because 60% of active shooter events are over before law enforcement arrives according to a FBI report.

ALICE Training is delivered through a blended approach of education and practice involving mandatory e-Learning together with Instructor Lead Training provided by Certified ALICE Instructors (ACI). To become a Certified ALICE Instructor, register for a course near you. Please note that the e-Learning course is available immediately after registering and provides the framework for attending the training and participating in the practice drills. The ALICE blended method ensures that attendees have the basic knowledge and preparation required to engage in the practical drill portion. It is an essential part of the ALICE toolbox where the strategies and principles of ALICE are defined and explained. Certified ALICE Instructors (ACIs) rely on the e-Learning to ensure their trainees are prepared.

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ALICE is in line with this guidance and recommendations by federal and state government agencies across the US: Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); US Department of Education; State of Alabama; State of Massachusetts; Ohio Attorney General; State of Illinois; State of Minnesota; State of Vermont; among others.

ALICE strategies are the national standard for preparation and training in responding to violent situations, and after 15 years these strategies are now mandated by the federal government for executive branch employees.

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Why training like ALICE is needed and has been adopted by the Federal Government as the standard of care since 2013.

In 2008, at the University of Northern Illinois, a former sociology graduate student entered a door of an auditorium-style classroom, and attacked the professor and students in the crowd. In 6 minutes, the attacker killed 5 and left 21 wounded. The attacker committed suicide on the stage before law enforcement arrived on the scene.

With a proactive response:

On that tragic day, there were heroes who stepped up to save others. Their actions did not require years of building special skills. They engaged in physical skills everyone knows, and ones that practically anyone can do. With a little training and practice, more would have engaged in proactive strategies which undoubtedly would have saved more lives.

  • In room 204, Professor Librescu controlled the door from opening by placing his body against it, holding it closed while instructing his students to jump out a window. Ultimately, Professor Librescu sacrificed his life to keep the attacker out of his classroom as long as could. Most of his students survived the attack by jumping out of the windows.
  • Students in Room 205 barricaded the door with a large table and sat on the floor to hold the table against the door.
  • In Room 207, one male and one female controlled the door by laying against the door with their bodies. The attacker could not enter the room.

These individuals are heroes who bravely took action in the face of grave tragedy to help save others.