Police offers active shooter training

Class emphasizes being aware of one’s surroundings, strategies to protect oneself



Steve Hansen, WSU assistant chief of police, says those who are not involved with law enforcement should still be prepared in case of an active shooter situation.

LAUREN ELLENBECKER, Evergreen reporter

It is important for WSU students and staff to be aware of their surroundings in the case of a potential active shooter situation, according to campus police.

Steve Hansen, WSU assistant chief of police, said WSU police officers are trained to address these threats, but people who aren’t in law enforcement should be prepared as well.

“You’re not going to know how you’ll react until it happens,” Hansen said.

The WSU Police Department provides active shooter training on campus to ensure the safety of the community, he said. The class lasts between an hour to an hour and a half, which includes an educational video followed by a discussion.

The course, which was established around the time of the shooting in 2007 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, delves into different strategies to protect oneself if a shooter is present on campus, Hansen said.

WSU Police Sgt. Dawn Daniels, who leads the training, said it focuses on awareness of your surroundings because it can be beneficial when surviving a shooting.

She added that three options a person has is to run, hide or fight.

“Don’t give up,” she said. “You have the right to fight for your life.”

A person should take advantage of any opportunity they have to learn and better themselves, Daniels said, especially because a shooter on campus is a reality for people today.

WSU police officers present a class every two months but will also provide it on demand. They have hosted this workshop for groups and organizations on campus like the UREC, the CUB and the library.

Jeff Elbracht, UREC facility operations director, said active shooter training has been incorporated with UREC staff training for at least ten years.

There are thousands of people filtering through the facilities, he said, so it’s important for the staff to be prepared and respond as they need to.

“We hope they never have to use [what they learn] in training,” Elbracht said.

More information regarding the WSU Police Department’s workshop can be found at https://police.wsu.edu/active-shooter-education-resources/.