College trains for taking down shooters

Since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, 88 school shootings have shook the country, according to Around the country, parents send their children to school with the fear that they won’t return.

Schools enforce new safety regulations, some going as far as to install metal detectors. Faculty and sta are being trained on what to do in the presence of an active shooter. Suzy Isham, former director of campus safety at Clackamas Community College, has made headway training school sta .

“Suzy has gone almost national with her training,” said Bob Cochran, dean of campus services at CCC. “Her premise is to take action, don’t be a victim. Arm yourself with whatever you have handy and stand up for yourself.”

In February, Isham published an emergency response guide for the CCC campus. One of the procedures listed is what to do in the presence of a school shooter. Isham conducted 15 ‘Surviving the Active Shooter’ trainings with CCC staff and faculty, police officers, YMCA daycare directors, search and rescue groups and other community directors.

“The trainings last about an hour and a half, and encompass the definition of active shooter, some known and not so known case studies of past active shooters, myths and facts about what we know about active shooters, statistics on where active shooting events have occurred over the last 15 years and the frequency, as well as the procedure on what we want folks to do in the event of an active shooter,” said Isham in an email. Isham recently resigned from CCC and moved over to the Oregon Health Science University campus last month.

“We incorporated the ‘Run, Hide, Fight’ method, which is a nationally recognized approach, as well as using the Houston video through Homeland Security that you can Google — Run, Hide, Fight,” said Isham. The video was created by ‘Ready Houston’ , a program dedicated to creating disaster preparation guidelines for citizens of Houston.

So how does campus safety on CCC feel to students? “I feel pretty safe on campus. I would feel better if I saw the campus police instead of just their empty cars on campus,” said Katie Harvey. “If there was an active shooter on campus … I would only  fight if it was my only option.”

The video “Run, Hide, Fight” illustrates what to do in the event of an active shooter. If you can get out quickly, exit the building and encourage others to follow you. Call 911. If you can’t run, you need to hide — turn o the lights, lock the door, barricade it and silence your cell phone. If needed, arm yourself with improvised weapons and  fight the shooter. Commit to your actions. Disarm them and  ght.


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Maddy Kays