UW Police

Active Shooter – Campus Emergency Procedures

These safety tips and guidelines are not all inclusive, but if understood, reviewed periodically and training on when feasible, these tips can increase your chances of surviving an active shooter.

An active shooter is an individual(s) actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area; in most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims.  These situations require law enforcement to take immediate action to stop the threat.

The information below outlines active shooter response strategies. Since every incident varies, you should be flexible in determining which strategy works best in that specific situation. These safety tips and guidelines are not all inclusive, but if understood, reviewed periodically, and trained when feasible, they can increase your chances of surviving and active shooter incident.

Response Strategies


  • Assess the situation. Consider your options
  • Move quickly
  • Leave belongings behind
  • Help and warn others as you exit (if safe to do so)
  • Run to a safe location – find cover if possible
  • Call 911 to alert the Police when safe to do so


  • Try to find a secure place
  • Lock doors and windows. If possible, cover windows
  • Barricade the door(s) with furniture, heavy items, etc. Don’t let anyone in to the safe space.
  • Turn off lights and silence all electronic devices
  • Remain calm and quiet
  • Prepare to defend yourself
  • Call 911 when safe to do so


  • Commit to being aggressive
  • Improvise weapons
  • Make a plan. Spread out, act as a team
  • If attacker is disarmed, don’t pick up attacker’s weapon
  • Call 911 when safe to do so

Police Response

Police Primary focus: Locate the threat and end the violence.

Upon arrival, officers will secure the area so that emergency medical teams can reach the wounded.

  • Do not make sudden movements towards the officers
  • Keep hands in plain sight
  • Follow commands given by officers

After the violence has stopped, how will you know it is safe?

  • Monitor UW Alert
  • You can call 911 to confirm that police are present outside your door/location

What will happen next?

  • Medical responders will treat the injured
  • Follow directions of law enforcement personnel
  • If you witnessed the incident and left the area, contact UWPD

Always notify the police department as soon as it is safe to do so.

Call 911 or UWPD’s 24-Hour Non-Emergency number 206.685.8973 (UWPD)