Providing individuals with instruction and options they need should such a situation occur is the goal of a new one-hour program created by Penn State's Human Resource Development Center (HRDC), along with University Police and Penn State's Risk Management Office.
"University campuses are among the safest places in the world," said Steve Shelow, director of University Police. "This training is not intended to create fear, but to create awareness. We want the members of our community to know what to do should they ever be confronted by an active shooter, and we want to foster a campus culture that supports safety."
The course, titled "Five OUTs: Surviving an Active Shooter," includes a video produced by Penn State Public Broadcasting with enactments of an active shooter scenario interspersed with advice from police. It also involves interaction with University Police officers, who are currently teaching the course.
Shelow said that a few other universities have created safety courses that take into account a shooting scenario as well. In Penn States case, the video is only available for viewing as part of the training program in order to provide individuals with a full picture and context for the instruction.
Capozzi said the purpose of the program is to help participants stay calm and be prepared in an emergency by establishing a heightened awareness and survival mindset for such situations. The program also is intended to help attendees recognize warning signs of potential behavior and identify options, responsibilities and actions in the event of an armed threat. It also teaches participants to recognize University warning systems and response protocols and typical actions of police and emergency responders during a situation.