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Stay prepared: a guide to Miami’s active shooter policy

This story contains mentions of gun violence.

On Wednesday, Alert Carolina, the mass alert system for the University of North Carolina (UNC), sent a notification to students of an “armed or dangerous person” after “a man allegedly brandished a gun after an employment-related conflict.” This comes just two weeks after officers responded to a campus-wide shooting at the university that killed three individuals.

In response to the recent incidents at UNC, The Miami Student has compiled this list on Miami University’s active shooter policy.

For a full list of emergency procedures and contacts, visit the Miami University Police Department’s (MUPD) website.

If an active shooter is outside

If an active shooter is outside the building, MUPD urges students, faculty and staff to seek shelter, preferably a room where both doors and windows can be locked, and turn off the lights. No one in the room should be able to be identified from the outside of the building.

Someone in the building should immediately call 911 and confirm the location to the dispatcher. MUPD advises students not to leave the room until administration or police confirm the threat is gone.

If an active shooter is inside

If an active shooter is inside the same building, MUPD again urges students, faculty and staff to follow the same procedure as if the shooter was outside the building. The police department encourages students, faculty and staff to seek the nearest room, preferably one where both doors and windows can be locked, and turn off the lights. Everyone in the room should get as close to the floor as possible and remain out of sight from windows and doors.

If the room cannot be locked, identify the nearest location that can be safely reached and secured, although MUPD emphasizes waiting to leave until it is safe to exit the building.

If an active shooter enters the room

If an active shooter enters the room that you are currently in, MUPD urges students, faculty and staff to try to remain calm. Someone in the room should dial 911 and inform the dispatcher of the location. If you can’t speak, keep the dispatcher on the phone so they can hear what’s taking place.

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MUPD says attempting to “overpower the shooter with force should be considered a last resort.”

What to expect

MUPD is trained to head immediately to the scene where shots were last heard. Their goal is to stop the shooting as soon as possible. According to MUPD’s active shooter policy, the responding officers will arrive in teams of four. They may be dressed in bulletproof vests and tactical equipment and may be armed with guns.

If officers are dispatched, it is important to do as they tell you. Officers will ask you to keep your hands visible at all times. The first officers to arrive on the scene will not aid with any injuries, but rescue teams will be dispatched, as well as emergency medical personnel, to treat and remove injured individuals.

Police will not let anyone leave the crime scene until the situation is under control and it has been announced that the threat is over. The officers may ask you questions, but it’s important to remain calm and answer as you experience the events.

Emergency alerts

This year, Miami launched its RedHawk Alert messaging system to provide emergency communication to students, faculty and staff on Miami’s Butler County campuses, which includes Oxford, Hamilton, Middletown and West Chester.

Previously called Omnialert, the emergency messaging system sends texts directly to individuals’ phones about immediate danger facing the entire campus. It provides quicker notice than the safety bulletins sent to university emails. 

Guests and visitors can opt-in to receive notifications while visiting campus by texting “muguest” to 79516.