Written by: Nadia Adams
A.L.I.C.E (alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate). “Most people run, panic or freeze” in an active shooter situation, says Sergeant Kevin Triplett. A.L.I.C.E is designed to help you survive an active shooter situation.
An active shooter is someone who is actively killing or trying to kill people. The more time they have the more damage they can cause and they want to move fast. 96% of active shooters are male between the ages of 15-19. 98% of active shooters are single. It typically takes eight minutes from the place of an emergency call for the police to get on the scene.
It is important that you have campus safety’s number saved on your phone because physically the body goes into shock and is unable to perform simple tasks like dialing numbers. The chances of surviving being shot are 75-90%. That is because it’s not the bullet that kills you but rather the blood loss that you lose from being shot. Most people know that if someone is shot to put pressure on the area to reduce blood loss. In an active shooter situation it is difficult for us to not panic and react just the opposite.
It is important to know that police are trained to stop the threat as soon as possible. “If you were shot officers would run past you to get to the threat so don’t take it personal, they want to help you but they cannot help you until the threat is stopped”, says Sergeant Triplett. Until then ask for help and bring attention to paramedics or peers if you can. The active shooter wants to move fast so using plain language to communicate with peers and the police to pinpoint where the shooter is located will stop the shooter faster. Between 2006-2016 there has been 206 active shootings and 43 have been in educational settings.
During the lockdown phase it is important to find a safe place to evacuate or barricade the room with sturdy objects. For example, tables, chairs, cables, cabinets, or printers but anything helps. The counter aspect of A.L.I.C.E is used when you have no other choice but to fight the active shooter. There are no rules when restraining the attacker other than safely remove the gun and place it in a safe spot where no one can get shot.
Make sure the weapon is in no one’s hands when the police arrive because the police don’t know who the attacker is. Make sure you stay alert and listen to updates and let police know if you evacuate and find a safe place to hide. Think about where you going before you get there and don’t get in your car. “Avoid using vehicles because when emergency vehicles pull up it slows people down and the parking lot becomes a target for an active shooter” said Sgt. Triplett.
“In our culture we don’t know how to deal with our feelings” said Sgt. Triplett. The police have identified that the most common motives in active shooters are related to relationships. For example, work relationships, spousal relationships, student relationships relating to bullying or being wronged.
The recurrence of active shooters almost in the last 20 years has sparked the gun control
debate in America. Sergeant Triplett says the Columbine High School shooting on April 20th, 1999 changed everything. Along with the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, Century Theater shooting in Aurora,
Colorado in 2008 , Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, and others. More recently, the Las Vegas strip shooting that killed and injured over 400 people this month on October 1st.
These are some of the examples why active shooter protocol needs to move away from the lockdown method and move to A.L.I.C.E says Sgt. Triplett. It is important to always watch your surroundings. “If you’re alone and you spot someone suspicious look them in the eye because bad guys don’t like conflict” says Sergeant Triplett. It’s easy to become a target if you are occupied and not observant.
Sergeant Kevin Triplett worked for the Aurora Police Department and retired after 25 years. He also worked for S.W.A.T for 16 years and as a sniper for 12 years.
To learn more about how to use A.L.I.C.E tactics to survive an active shooter situation join Campus Safety on the next session in Perry Theatre on November 20th at 8:00pm.
If you have any questions contact campus safety at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630)-844- 6140.