Oakland University Police Department

Police and Support Services Building
201 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4451
(location map)
Campus Phone: 911
Cell Phone and Non-Emergency: (248) 370-3331
Campus Status Hotline: (248) 370-2000
Hours of Operation: 24/7 Lobby and Communications
Fax: (248) 370-3341

Active Shooter

An active shooter is a person who is actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. An active shooter can strike anytime, anywhere, or anyone. Most active shooter situations only last 10-15 minutes. This is why it’s critical you act quickly and effectively. Today is the day to decide what you will do in an active shooter situation. Where will you exit? Where will you hide if you can’t exit? Deciding today what your options are will enable you to react quickly and effectively.

Please note: first-time viewers that the video contains graphic images designed to simulate the reality of gun violence.


Home of the Golden Grizzlies, Oakland University is located on a magnificent 1500 acre estate, complete with a National Historical Landmark - Meadowbrook Hall - a beautiful 150 foot tall carillon tower, 18 NCAA Division One sports teams, two championship golf courses, a child care center, and multiple academic and housing units. Oakland University is continuously rated as one of the safest campuses in the United States. However, we're all aware of the increased frequency of active assailant incidents across the country on college campuses this usually quiet campus could become the target of one of these types of incidents. Should this occur, would you know what to do to keep yourself safe? Hi, I'm Officer Pitts with the Oakland University Police Department. The purpose of this training video is to provide you with the tools necessary to increase the likelihood of you surviving an active assailant incident, should it occur on campus. You can survive an incident of active aggression if you make a plan before it happens. When an ordinary day turns into chaos, what are the strategies you need to remember to survive? (gunshot noises; screaming) "Today we're going to be discussing Plato's cave-" "That sounded like gunshots." There are three strategies you need to remember to survive an incident of active aggression: Run. Hide. Fight. One option available is to run. If you need to get out of the building you are currently in, make sure you know where all the exits are. If you can run to a safe location, then running should be your first choice. Do not wait for others to make this decision for you or slow you down, and leave personal items behind. "Hey, what are you doing? We gotta go, we gotta go!" Communication centers are being flooded with phone calls during any critical incident. Do not call unless you have specific information about the assailant's appearance, or current whereabouts, or injured parties. Once you're in a safe location, and if you have information to give first responders, dial 9-1-1. Be sure to give your location because you may be speaking to a county dispatcher. "There's a shooter on the fourth floor of HHB. He's wearing a black jacket and jeans." The number one communication method used by the OUPD to alert the OU community during any critical incident on or near campus is the emergency text message system. If you receive this notification, you may not receive detailed information initially. The exact location of the threat may not be in the first text message that is sent out, so you need to be aware of your surroundings. If you haven't registered, please go to oupolice.com and follow the simple instructions on the webpage to receive these alerts. What happens if you cannot run? You may need to hide. Your goal is to become invisible. If you are in a room, lock the door. "Help me move this table." If you have time... "Hey guys, grab some chairs." ..stack heavy or large objects in front of the door. Shut off all lights. Turn off technology such as computers and overhead projectors, and silence your cell phone. Move away from all windows and close window blinds if available. Spread out and get as low to the ground as you can. Do not leave the area where you are unless you receive an all clear text message. If someone knocks on the door and says 'Police, open up,' do not open the door until you receive the 'all clear' text. "Police, open up!" OUPD have keys to every door on campus and can gain access to any area with those keys. If the fire alarm is activated while you're in lockdown and you know that your safety is not being jeopardized by smoke or flames, do not leave your hiding place. "Wait, we gotta go." "No, stay, we haven't heard the all clear yet." "Okay." While you are hiding, get ready to fight in case the assailant gains access to your room. If you can't run, and you can't hide, your final option is to fight. This should only be used as a last resort. Whether you are alone or in a large group, you need to tell yourself you can survive. You need to be prepared to fight for your life. "Grab something to fight with!" Look around the room: do you have any weapons of opportunity to use to take out the assailant? Is there anything you can use as an improvised weapon? Your first line of defense is to be prepared to throw large or heavy objects at the assailant should they make entry into your location. The goal is to incapacitate the assailant as soon as possible. As soon as police are notified of the incident, OUPD will be enroute and may only be moments away. When police arrive, their main priority is to stop the killer. "People coming, people coming out. Check the stairs, look to your left." While it may appear that OUPD is not concerned with the injured individuals... "Help!" "Help's on the way, help is on the way." ..The officers are trained to go to the sound of the gunfire. Many medical first responders are staging at a different location and are prepared to help the injured as soon as the scene is safe. "On the left. Going in, going in." If police enter the area that you are in, do exactly as they tell you. Show them your hands, and do not have anything in your hands, Police have no way of differentiating between the shooter and everyone else. You can expect to have guns pointed at you while police are giving you direction. Do not approach the officers unless told to do so. Whether you are faculty, student, or staff, having a plan in case of an active shooter incident can increase the likelihood of your survival. If you ever find yourself in an active shooter incident remember three simple words that can save your life and the lives of others: Run. Hide. Fight.

Guidance to faculty, staff and students

In general, how you respond to an active shooter will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter, bearing in mind there could be more than one shooter involved in the same situation. If you find yourself involved in an active shooter situation, try to remain calm and use these guidelines to help you plan a strategy for survival.


  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Prevent others from entering the area.


  • Hide in an area out of the active shooter's view.
  • Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors.
  • Silence your cell phone and any other electronics.


  • As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger.
  • Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter.
  • Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.
How to respond when law enforcement arrives
  • Remain calm and follow officer's instructions.
  • Put down any items in your hands (e.g. jackets, bags, etc.)
  • Immediately raise your hands and spread your fingers.
  • Keep hands visible at all times.
  • Avoid quick movements towards officers and do not hold on to them for safety.
  • Do not stop to ask officers for help or direction when evacuating.
Information you should provide to police
  • Location of the shooter(s)
  • Number of shooter(s)
  • Physical description of shooter(s)
  • Number and type of weapons held by the shooter(s)
  • Number of potential victims at your location
Alert message

Upon learning of an active shooting incident, OUPD will send an alert message giving instructions to the registered faculty, staff, and students. For more information on the alert system or to register for messages, visit our Emergency Alerts page.


If you hear or see something that may lead to an active shooting or otherwise violent situation, please contact us. Trust your gut feeling. The life you save could be your own.