'Run, Hide, Fight': UCPD officer talks at UConn Against Gun Violence meeting

The student organization UConn Against Gun Violence held a presentation about active shooter survival on September 26 in Monteith Hall. Sergeant Hyland from the UConn Police department gave a talk about active shooters on school campuses and what to do in an emergency situation. (Olivia Stenger/The Daily Campus)

UConn Against Gun Violence debuted their new club Monday night by bringing in UConn Police Department officer Jason Hyland to discuss how to respond to an active threat.

As the first guest in the club’s speaker series, Hyland provided realistic approaches to several different scenarios in which an active shooter may be present.

“Examples such as the shootings as Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook show the reality of active threats. An active threat is an armed person who has used, or has attempted to use, deadly physical force on other persons and or continues to do so.  

Each of these horrific events helps to change the way in which law enforcement reacts in order for them to be as prepared as possible,” Hyland said.

“When in the presence of an active shooter, there are three options to choose from: run, hide or fight. Although law enforcement will respond, victims should maintain a survival mindset and have a course of action,” Hyland added. “However, at a certain point fear becomes panic that will result in disbelief and denial,” Hyland said.

Hyland also stressed the importance of using UConn’s alert system. First alerts will be sent via text message, and then following alerts will be broadcasted from the police department’s siren/P.A. system. Students will also receive continual updates on active situations through the MyUConn app.

These alerts provide a brief nature of the incident, its location and general instructions for safety. Emergency management terms often seen in alerts include “evacuate,” “shelter in place,” “lockdown” and “all clear,” Hyland said. “When officers arrive on the scene, their first concern is to find and take down the shooter. The next group of officers arrives to evacuate people and tend to the wounded, Hyland said.

Hyland recommended citizens remain vigilant as well, urging people to report incidents that they see.

Emma Degrandi is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at emma.degrandi@uconn.edu.