Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to review the following video, which was developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As part of Suffolk University's emergency preparedness efforts, we have adopted many of the recommendations from the DHS model.

The Emergency Management Division of the Suffolk University Police Department offers training on this “Run, Hide, Fight” model.

How to Respond When an Active Shooter is in your vicinity

Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. People are likely to follow the lead of people who take control during a situation such as this.

1. Run

If there is an accessible escape route, attempt to evacuate the premises or the area. Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of police officers
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 911 when you are safe

2. Hide

If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.

Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the active shooter’s view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door)
  • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement
  • To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:
    • Lock the door
    • Blockade the door with heavy furniture or other items

If the active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock the door
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  • Remain quiet

If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:

  • Remain calm
  • Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen

3. Fight

As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items to distract the individual and improvising weapons if needed
  • Yelling
  • Move as much as possible
  • Committing to your actions


The Suffolk University Police Department delivers presentations on a number of different public safety and law enforcement topics. SUPD staff may serve as guest lecturers in classrooms, attend student events and participate in forums designed to provide training on particular topics for students, staff, and faculty.

If you would like to schedule an active shooter (Run, Hide, Fight) presentation for your group, please contact:

Lieutenant/Emergency Manager Kenneth M. Walsh at

Thank you for caring about the Suffolk Community. Stay Safe!

Gerard A. Coletta

Chief of Police