Published: Oct. 6, 2016
CU Police vehicle

During the two incidents yesterday, we heard from some of you about some of the terms we used in our emergency communication.  We hope this will help everyone understand what the terms mean and why we use them.

Active Harmer – This term is used to describe any type of incident in which someone appears to be moving within a building or area with the intention to do harm. The reason we don’t always use “active shooter” is simply because we might not know whether that person has a gun or other weapon.

Take Protective Action – This phrase is used rather than “lockdown” or “protect in place” because of the size of our campus. Unlike a K-12 school, we have more than 100 buildings spread out over a large area. Sending out a generic message such as “lockdown” or “protect in place” might not be the right message for everyone on our campus. We use “take protective action” and will try to tell you what building or area is affected so you can do what is best for your location. If you have questions about how you should respond in an active harmer scenario, we recommend that you watch the “Run, Hide, Fight” video put out by city of Houston.

Secure/All Clear – These are used to indicate that nothing or no one who was causing harm has been located in the area that was being searched. This does not mean the building has been reopened. In a situation such as yesterday’s at the UMC, the “all clear” was given after CU police had searched the entire building. After they were sure there was no threat, the search continued to ensure that, hidden with the items that were left behind, someone didn’t leave a bomb in a backpack to go off after the building was reopened.