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Active Threat Information


Situations involving "active shooters" and "active threats" are a serious concern for our nation's university and college campuses. Beyond campuses and schools an active threat situation can happen anywhere, including malls, businesses, special events, and within the workplace. The University of Illinois Police Department (UIPD) routinely conducts training internally and with neighboring law enforcement agencies to provide an effective response to active threat situations. The following information is presented to assist members of our campus community with their individual awareness and preparation.

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What is an"active threat?"

An active threat is defined as any incident which, by its deliberate nature, creates an immediate threat or presents an imminent danger to the campus community. In addition to individuals using firearms (active shooters), it is possible for other types of weapons or instruments to be used by offenders who want to cause harm.

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How should I report an active threat (or any emergency on campus)?

All reports of emergencies on campus, life threatening and non-life threatening, should be reported to METCAD by calling 911. METCAD is the dispatching agency for all local emergency responders for our campus.

Once you make contact, be sure you provide the following information:

  1. Your location;
  2. Nature of the emergency;
  3. Information about the emergency, victim, suspect, injuries, or suspicious activity;
  4. Phone number of the phone you are calling from;
  5. Your name;

It is important that you remain on the line until METCAD either terminates the call or advises you that you can hang up.

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How will the police respond?

Police response tactics include addressing the threat immediately and taking any actions necessary to neutralize the threat as quickly as possible. The safety of all people involved in an active threat incident is of paramount importance and responding officers may forego assistance to injured parties for the express purpose of meeting and neutralizing the threat, thereby reducing the overall number of casualties.

  1. University of Illinois Police Department (UIPD) officers will respond immediately.
  2. UIPD will most likely be assisted by members of other local community law enforcement agencies.
  3. METCAD will dispatch emergency medical services immediately upon report or confirmation of injuries.
  4. The Campus Emergency Operations Committee will convene to manage the impacts of the event on the campus community and to lend support and resources to the tactical response agencies.

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How will the campus be informed?

  1. When adequate and credible information is available, the campus will issue emergency messages to inform the campus and community of the threat and provide as much information as possible. Messaging systems have limitations, so expect to receive abbreviated action steps to take for your personal safety. If you receive a message, share that information with others in your general area. Faculty, staff and students can sign up for the emergency messaging system at https://emergency.illinois.edu.
  2. The following messaging systems may be used to keep the campus informed during and after the emergency:
    • Illini-Alert:
      • Text
      • Phone
      • Email
      • Web
      • Facebook
      • Twitter
    • 217-265-UIPD phone message
    • Campus phone tree
    • UI-7 (cable television channel 7)
    • Mass broadcast media such as radio and television
    • NOAA weather radio messages
  3. Notes on the use of cell phones: To increase personal safety and the safety of others, individuals are strongly encouraged to minimize the use of personal cell phones unless it is to report to authorities on the status of the emergency. Mass use of cell phones typically results in system overloads and the general failure of the system until cell phone usage diminishes.

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What security measures are in place on campus?

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is protected and served by a full-time sworn law enforcement agency. Additionally, there are long established relations and mutual aid agreements with the cities of Champaign and Urbana, Champaign County Sheriff's Office, and the Illinois State Police. UIPD also works closely with federal law enforcement agencies. Emergency phones are located around campus both internally and externally to the campus buildings. These can be used to contact the University of Illinois Police Department. For information on emergency phones, visit the Campus Safety page. Campus departments are in the process of developing building emergency action plans to assist and direct their unit's response during a given emergency. More than 1,000 faculty and staff have received training in the incident response and command system protocols of the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

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How can I best protect myself?

The following guidelines are intended to provide information to individuals who have found shelter and/or found themselves engaged in an active threat situation. They are intended to improve both individual and group levels of personal safety.

Active threat situations are very dynamic and they evolve quickly. Individuals need to assess their situation and be prepared to make decisions in a matter of seconds. An active threat situation typically does not last for a long period of time unless it evolves into a hostage situation.

Recommendations for Individual/Group Safety:

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How can I help prevent an active threat?

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Department of Homeland Security video

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