Active shooter drill training teaches steps to safety on campus

Campus Security Sergeant C. J. Laughlin leads workshops teaching student and faculty what to do in case of an active shooter.

In 2018 alone there were 82 recorded instances of school shootings in the U.S., resulting in 90 injuries, 61 deaths, and seven suicides where no one else was injured.

In an effort to promote campus safety, Sergeant C. J. Laughlin of the University of Tulsa Campus Security hosted a presentation for an audience of students and faculty in the Student Union alcove Tuesday. The talk centered around the main tenets of ALICE, an acronym for the steps people should take in the event of an active shooter on campus.

Laughlin noted that when the FBI conducted an analysis of all active shooter events between the years 2000 and 2013, 98 percent of the shootings involved only one shooter.

Campus security has 28 patrol officers and supervisors on staff, and they work in eight hour shifts of nine officers each. The average shift has one supervisor and five officers patrolling campus and monitoring more than 600 cameras on a campus that’s less than one square mile large.

Laughlin assuaged fears about an active shooter on campus, stating, “I like to think if we get that call, we can be in any building on campus in one minute or less.”

Not only is there a large number of campus officers, but they routinely lock each non-residential door on campus every night and are knowledgeable about potential hiding spot for a campus shooter.

ALICE is not meant to be taken in chronological order. It is simply a tool meant to help students and staff understand their options in an active shooter situation. Evacuation is always the safest option whenever possible.

The ALICE acronym stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate.


The alert can be hearing a gunshot or a PA announcement. On the TU campus, the alert is likely to be a text message from the university-wide opt-in security messaging service.


Lockdown means to barricade the doorway and prevent a shooter from gaining access to a room.

If a shooter gains access to the room, Counter or Evacuate should be followed.


This means to inform police or campus security about the situation. Laughlin recommends calling Campus Security first, because they have armed officers on site already and they are familiar with the buildings on campus, unlike the Tulsa Police. There are always two dispatchers on staff, so if someone calls Campus Security one dispatcher gets in contact with patrolling officers and the other calls 911.


Counter is meant to distract the shooter and prevent accurate firing. This could be throwing chairs and books, spraying a fire extinguisher or forcing the gunman to the ground after he steps in the doorway. If you manage to disarm the gunman, it is advised to not pick up the weapon, as Campus Security or Tulsa Police Officers could mistake you for the shooter. Instead, slide it away from the assailant with your foot.


By far the safest and easiest option, evacuate means to exit the building or immediate area where the shooting is occurring and move off campus.

The Campus Security text message service can be accessed through the TU webpage. To be enrolled in the system, go to Student Resources, click on the Campus Security tab, then click on Safety Measures. From there, scroll until you reach the Emergency Notification System drop-down tab. Then, enter your cell number and you will receive safety alerts from Campus Security.

Campus Security can be reached at any time for both emergencies and non-emergencies at (918) 631-5555.

Post Author: Gabe Powell