Safety Tips

 

Below are safety tips provided by our Public Safety Department.

 

Responding to an active shooter

MSM Public Safety Personnel actively train in responding to violence on the campus including the response to active shooters. In addition, drills are regularly conducted on the main campus. Your part in preparing for this type of incident, on or off campus, is to watch the video “RUN, HIDE, FIGHT” and to read and understand the information listed below. 

 

Active Shooter

An Active Shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms(s) and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victim.

 Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly. Typically, the immediate deployment of law enforcement is required to stop the shooting and mitigate harm to victims.

 Because active shooter situations are often over within 1- to 15 minutes, before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.

 

HOW TO RESPOND WHEN AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IS IN YOUR VICINITY

Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Remember that customers and clients are likely to follow the lead of employees and managers during an active shooter situation.

 

Evacuate (RUN)

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

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind (try to learn at least two ways of evacuating an area)
  • 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 any police officers
  • Do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 911 when you are safe

 

Hide out (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

 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

 

Take action against the active shooter (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 and using ANYTHING and EVERYTHING as a WEAPON
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your actions

 

HOW TO RESPOND WHEN LAW ENFORCEMENT ARRIVES

 Law enforcement’s purpose is to stop the active shooter as soon as possible. Officers will proceed directly to the area in which the last shots were heard.

  • MSM Officers will immediately respond to the threat
  • Officers from other agencies will also respond, you may not recognize the responding officers
  • Officers may wear regular patrol uniforms or external bulletproof vests, Kevlar helmets, and other tactical equipment
  • Officers may be armed with rifles, shotguns, handguns
  • Officers may use tasers, pepper spray or tear gas to control the situation
  • Officers may shout commands, and may push individuals to the ground for their safety

 How to react when law enforcement arrives:

  • Remain calm, and follow officers’ instructions
  • Put down any items in your hands (i.e., bags, jackets)
  • Immediately raise hands and spread fingers
  • Keep hands visible at all times
  • Avoid making quick movements toward officers such as holding on to them for safety
  • Avoid pointing, screaming and/or yelling
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating, just proceed in the direction from which officers are entering the premises

 Information to provide to law enforcement or 911 operators:

  • Location of the active shooter
  • Number of shooters, if more than one
  • Physical description of shooter/s
  • Number and type of weapons held by the shooter/s
  • Number of potential victims at the location

 The first officers to arrive to the scene will not stop to help injured persons. Expect rescue teams comprised of additional officers and emergency medical personnel to follow the initial officers. These rescue teams will treat and remove any injured persons. They may also call upon able-bodied individuals to assist in removing the wounded from the premises.

 Once you have reached a safe location or an assembly point, you will likely be held in that area by law enforcement until the situation is under control, and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Do not leave until law enforcement authorities have instructed you to do so. 

 

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Vehicle Burglary - A Crime of Opportunity

  • LOCK your vehicle and take the keys
  • PARK carefully in well lighted areas
  • USE anti-theft devices
  • CLEAN it out; do not leave anything in it
  • REMOVE the garage door opener
  • UTILIZE a parking garage to park in, if possible
  • MARK it; use an engraver to mark property
  • REPORT suspicious activity or persons to the Atlanta Police Department or any AUC police department. For crimes in progress call 9-1-1.

 

Items to avoid leaving in your vehicle and/or view:

  • Cellular phones and chargers
  • Pagers
  • CD’s
  • Purses/briefcases
  • Wallets
  • Back packs
  • Clothing
  • Laptops/cameras
  • Sports equipment/tools
  • Removable stereos including the removable face plates

 

Street Sense: It’s Common Sense (Basic Street Sense)

  • Wherever you are - on the street, in an office building or shopping mall, driving, waiting for a bus or subway - stay alert and tuned in to your surroundings.
  • Send the message that you’re calm, confident, and know where you’re going.
  • Trust your instincts. If something or someone makes you uneasy, avoid the person or leave.
  • Know the neighborhoods where you live and work. Check out the locations of police and fire stations, public telephones, hospitals, and restaurants, or stores that are open late.

 

On Foot - Day and Night:

  • Stick to well-traveled streets. Avoid shortcuts through wooded areas, parking lots, or alleys.
  • Don’t flash large amounts of cash or other tempting targets like expensive jewelry or clothing.
  • Carry a purse close to your body, not dangling by the straps. Put a wallet in an inside coat or front pants pocket, not a back pocket.
  • Try to use automated teller machines in the daytime. Have your card in hand and don’t approach the machine if you’re uneasy about people nearby.
  • Don’t wear shoes or clothing that restrict your movements.
  • Have your car or house key in hand before you reach the door.
  • If you think someone is following you, switch direction or cross the street. Walk toward an open store, restaurant, or lighted house. If you’re scared, yell for help.

 

On Wheels:

  • Keep your car in good running condition. Make sure there’s enough gas to get where you’re going and back.
  • Always roll up the windows and lock car doors, even if you’re coming right back. Check inside and out before getting in.
  • Avoid parking in isolated areas. Be especially alert in lots and underground parking garages.
  • If you think someone is following you, don’t head home. Drive to the nearest police or fire station, gas station, or other open business to get help.
  • Don’t pick up hitchhikers. Don’t hitchhike.
  • Leave enough space to pull around the vehicle in front of you when you’re stopped at a light or stop sign. If anyone approaches your vehicle in a threatening manner, pull away.
  • Beware of the “bump and rob.” It works like this: A car rear ends or bumps you in traffic. You get out to check the damage and the driver or one of the passengers jumps into your car and drives off.
  • Look around before you get out; make sure other cars are around. If you are uneasy, stay in the car and insist on moving to a busy place or police station.

 

On Buses and Subways:

  • Use well-lighted, busy stops.
  • Stay alert! Don’t doze or daydream.
  • If someone harasses you, don’t be embarrassed. Loudly say “Leave me alone!” If that doesn’t work, hit the emergency device.
  • Watch who gets off with you. If you feel uneasy, walk directly to a place where there are other people.

 

Road Rage:

  • People are losing their lives on the highway every day because of “road rage.” A majority of drivers get angry when someone cuts them off or tailgates them. About 70 percent of drivers get angry at slow drivers. Violent incidents on the road recorded by police have increased 51 percent over the last five years.
  • Don’t allow someone to draw you into a test of wills on the highway. If someone is tailgating you, pull into the slow lane and let them pass. Don’t take traffic problems personally.
  • Avoid eye contact with an aggressive driver.
  • Don’t make obscene gestures. Use your horn sparingly, as a warning, not an outburst.
  • Reduce stress by allowing ample time for your trip and creating a relaxing environment in your car.
  • Driving is a cooperative activity. If you’re aggressive, you may find other drivers trying to slow you down or get in your way.
  • If you witness aggressive driving, stay out of the way and contact authorities when you can. Consider carrying a cellular phone in your car to contact police in the event of an encounter with an aggressive driver.

 

If Someone Tries To Rob You or Take Your Car:

  • Don’t resist. Give up your property; don’t give up your life.
  • Report the crime to the police. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent others from becoming victims.
  • You should exercise extreme caution when traveling off campus at all times and report all suspicious activity to any of the AUC police departments or the Atlanta Police Department immediately.

 

Atlanta Police: 9-1-1

Morehouse School of Medicine Police: (404) 752-1794

Morehouse College Police:(404) 215-2666

Clark-Atlanta Police:(404) 880-8623

Spelman Police:(404) 525-6401

 

A variety of classes are offered by the Department of Public Safety. Classes are offered to any MSM employee or student. Family members are welcome to attend. Some self defense classes are offered at a cost to the individual.

 

For additional information or to schedule a self defense class, please call Janet Dollar at (404) 752-1758 or jdollar@msm.edu.