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Violent Intruder / Hostage Situation

Perpetrators in these situations are unpredictable and may create panic and chaos at the location. This makes it difficult to establish a specific plan of action. Therefore, you must be aware of certain guidelines when making your decisions.

If confronted,

  • Stall for time and create distance between you and the suspect.
  • Do not be aggressive or use aggressive body language.
  • Do not try to disarm an armed individual.
  • Remain calm and understanding. Listen intently to what the person has to say.
  • Take mental notes of what the suspect is wearing, weapons you see, what the suspect says.
  • Do not attempt to protect personal belongings.
  • Attempt to dial 911; leave the telephone off the hook if you cannot talk.

If it is not safe to exit your location and the threat is outside the area you are in:

  • Lock your doors and windows and turn off the lights.
  • Stay away from the suspect’s line of sight.
  • Place a message in the window or under the door to communicate.
  • Dial 911.

If possible, evacuate away from the suspect’s location:

  • Stay close to walls and avoid wide open areas.
  • If there is shooting, run in a zig zag pattern.
  • Seek safe shelter and dial 911 or notify an appropriate official of the incident as soon as possible.

If law enforcement is present, they will be armed and moving quickly:

  • Identify yourself.
  • Keep your hands visible and above your head.
  • Listen carefully to law enforcement instructions and follow them.


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