Although it is extremely difficult to prepare for an armed/hostile intruder, it should be stressed that persons who have violent tendencies, or who are mentally unbalanced may exhibit certain signs or behaviors. If you have contact with, or knowledge of, ANY individual who displays one or more of the following characteristics, you should immediately notify Campus Safety:
- Threatens harm, or talks about killing other students, faculty or staff.
- Possesses weapons (firearms or edged weapons) or has a preoccupation with them.
- Suicidal thoughts or comments.
- Loud confrontational language, or physically violent behavior. Constantly starts or participates in fights.
- Becomes frustrated easily and converts frustration into uncontrollable physical violence.
- Withdrawal or signs of depression.
- Disorientation, agitation or hyperactivity.
- Bullies or intimidates. Uses verbal or written threats.
- Exhibits bizarre or paranoid behavior.
- Rambling or disconnected speech.
- Harassing or stalking behavior.
- Excessive alcohol or drug use.
- Possesses or draws artwork that depicts graphic images of death or violence.
Connecticut College Intervention
If an individual is identified as being a potential threat, and is a member of the Campus Community, the College will convene a multi-disciplinary threat assessment team to intervene with the individual, and will take whatever action necessary to prevent acts of aggression and/or violence. For cases involving students, this team will consist of the Dean of Student Life, Dean of the Faculty, Director of Campus Safety, and the Director of Counseling Services. The Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Professional Development and the Vice President for Administration will be added for cases involving faculty or staff. If the situation warrants, the New London Police Department may also be included.
Campus Safety Response
Upon receipt of a report of a violent individual or intruder, Campus Safety will:
- Immediately notify the New London Police Department, relaying as much information as possible. (Number of intruders, last known location, weapons used, number and types of injuries, etc.) Senior Administrators and Emergency Response Team members shall be alerted as soon as time allows. The ConnectEd system may be activated if necessary.
- Campus Safety Officer(s) will be dispatched to the location where the hostile intruder has been reported, but should not enter the building if weapons are involved. The Campus Safety Officer should assist and direct persons evacuating the building. Campus Safety officers should approach outside incident locations with extreme caution.
- The Campus Safety officer should try to take cover in a location that will not be in the path or in the direct line of sight of the hostile intruder(s).
- The dispatch officer in the Gatehouse must maintain contact with responding New London police officers, relaying updated information as it becomes available.
- Do not sound the fire alarm to evacuate building. Persons may be placed in harm’s way as they attempt to evacuate the building. Be aware that persons may be locking themselves in dormitory rooms, classrooms or offices.
- If possible, without exposing his/herself to the intruder, the campus safety officer should render assistance to the injured, pending arrival of the New London police, and emergency medical personnel.
Hostile Intruders in an Academic, Administrative or Residential Building
When a hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious bodily injury or the threat of imminent death or serious bodily injury to person(s) within a campus building, the following measures should be taken:
- Faculty and supervisors should immediately lock and/or barricade the doors. If possible, cover any windows or openings that have a direct line of sight into the hallway. Occupants of residential buildings should lock themselves in their room. Keep the door locked and stay put until instructed to do otherwise by the police.
- Using any available phone, call 911. Campus Safety can be reached at (860) 339-2222. From a campus phone, dial 111 or 2222.
- Do not sound the fire alarm. A fire alarm would signal the occupants to evacuate the building and thus place them in potential harm as they attempt to exit.
- Lock the windows and close blinds or curtains. Stay away from the windows.
- Turn off lights and all audio equipment.
- Turn cell phones to “silent” or “vibrate,” but do not turn your phone off.
- Try to remain as calm as possible.
- Keep everyone together.
- Stay out of open areas and be as quiet as possible.
- If for some reason you are caught in an open area such as a hallway or lounge, you must decide what you are going to do. This is a very crucial time and it can possibly mean life or death. You can try to hide, but make sure it is a well-hidden space or you may be found as the intruder moves through the building looking for victims.
- If you think you can safely make it out of the building by running, then do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line. Attempt to keep objects such as, desks, cabinets, fixtures, etc. between you and the hostile person(s). Once outside, do not run in a straight line. Use trees, vehicles and other objects to block you from the view of intruders. When away from the immediate area of danger, summon help any way you can and warn others.
- If the person(s) is causing death or serious physical injury to others, and you are unable to run or hide you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
- Your last option if you are caught in an open area in a building may be to fight back. This is dangerous, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option.
- If you are caught by the intruder and are not going to fight back, obey all commands and do not look the intruder in the eyes.
Hostile Intruder(s) on the College Grounds
When a hostile person(s) is actively causing death or serious physical injury, or the threat of imminent death or serious physical injury to person(s) on the Connecticut College campus, the following procedures should be followed:
- Run away from the threat if you can, as fast as you can. Do not run in a straight line. Keep vehicles, bushes, trees and anything that could possibly block your view from the hostile person(s) while you are running.
- If you can get away from the immediate area of danger, summon help and warn others.
- If you decide to hide, take into consideration the area in which you are hiding. Will I be found here? Is this really a good spot to remain hidden?
- If the person(s) are causing death or serious physical injury to others and you are unable to run or hide you may choose to play dead if other victims are around you.
- The last option you have if caught in an open area outside may be to fight back. This is dangerous, but depending on your situation, this could be your last option.
- If the intruder catches you, and you are not going to fight back, do not look the intruder in the eyes and obey all commands.
New London Police Response
Officers from the New London Police Department will automatically assume control of the scene upon their arrival. In these situations, time may be of the essence, and it is very important that faculty, staff and students obey all orders and instructions immediately. The police response may include handcuffing or otherwise securing everyone until the situation is clarified and the perpetrator is identified. This is standard procedure and is done for safety reasons. Do not resist or argue.