Crowder College campus to host active shooter seminar

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

'Run, Hide, Fight' event set for Oct. 31 in Cassville

If schools, businesses and residents would like to know how to prepare for situations involving active shooters or violent intruders, they can attend the Run, Hide, Fight seminar from 9 a.m. and noon Oct. 31 at the Crowder College Cassville Campus.

"I present Run, Hide, Fight just as a change from what we historically have done of shelter in place," said Eric Schroeder, who will be the speaker at the seminar. "Schools around the country, and even colleges, and just as a society, we've kind of adopted this shelter in place back in the days after Columbine."

Crowder College hired Schroeder, who has been a police officer with the Springfield Police Department since July of 2000, as an independent contractor, he said. The department is not providing the training.

Before Columbine, a school incident in Colorado 1999 that left 13 dead and 21 injured, law enforcement surrounded the building and called for the SWAT team to deal with the threat, said Schroeder, while referring to his research. Police departments across the country now have trained their officers in solo engagement tactics.

If the first officer on scene hears gunfire and receives reports of an active shooter, the officer goes to the threat instead of waiting for backup.

Angela Seymour, director of Crowder College Cassville Campus, attended a November training session that Schroeder gave at the main Crowder campus in Neosho.

She said the hour-long session was informative, and it made her realize that the rules to handle an active shooter or a violent intruder have changed since she was a K--12 school teacher and as a child.

"When I was a kid, it was lock down and hide, and get under your desk," Seymour said. "Well, it doesn't work if the guy comes in your room. You are all sitting targets."

Schroeder has different scenarios, Seymour said.

"He helps you think through and to be prepared ahead of time for a situation," she said.

At the training, Schroeder separates the Run, Hide, Fight strategy into green, yellow and red zones.

"The zones are nothing official," Schroeder said. "They are basically colors used for a PowerPoint presentation. If you are in the red zone, you are in the immediate area of an active shooter.

"The majority of the time, that's a fight option, and we use the word fight, not like Chuck Norris jumping across the room and kicking the guy, but sometimes it's using a distraction by throwing items, hitting them with something and then running out of the door."

The yellow zone means people should lock and barricade a room because they do not have enough time to run away from the threat.

They then need to either escape out of a window or gather weapons and be in the ambush position if the shooter arrives to the door, Schroeder said.

The green zone means you are far enough from the threat to run away from the area completely, he said.

Schroeder can gear it toward not just the Crowder buildings and the Crowder population, but to different businesses, Seymour said.

"If something happened in that office space, how would you take care of it, what would you do, where would you go, what is your exit strategy?" she said. "I am hoping that the businesses can attend so that they can be thinking about those things, just to have themselves in a prepared mindset.

"You are trying to give yourself enough time to survive for the people who are trained on how to take down the shooter can arrive."

Schroeder will also teach the participants about the mental processes during an emergency, and why it causes some people to freeze. He evaluates several examples of real active shooter events.

Schroeder has qualified as a generalist instructor with the Center for Domestic Preparedness under the Department of Homeland Security; a Missouri Police Officer Standards and Training generalist instructor; an Alert, Lock Down, Inform, Counter and Escape (or A.L.I.C.E) instructor; and a Citizen Response to Active Shooter Events instructor.

He graduated with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and psychology from the College of the Ozarks in 2000. He graduated with a master's degree in criminal justice and terrorism studies from Drury University in May.

For more information or to reserve a seat to the free seminar, people may contact Seymour at 417-847-1706 or AngelaSeymour@crowder.edu.

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