Butler Police Chief Jason Kenney shares how to stay safe around an active shooter
by Mia Rodriguez | reporter
As of April 6, 2018 there have been 58 mass shootings, according to gunviolencearchive.org, with a total of 79 dead and over 200 injured. The largest so far happened in Parkland, Florida with 17 killed and 15 injured. There have been a total of 10 mass school shootings in 2018 so far. Seeing these mass shootings on the news worries some students on staying safe while getting an education.
At Butler Community College, students that are 21 or older can carry, but the gun must not be in sight. Students being scared just to come to school is terrible; no one should wake up being scared to go to school. Some students at Butler are wondering what to do if they come face- to-face, or even in the same building as a school shooter. Butler has many campuses all over Kansas with the main campus in El Dorado, three in Andover, one connected to the high school and two stand-alone buildings and another campus in Rose Hill.
With the many different campuses, they all follow the same procedure, A.L.I.C.E. Butler adopted A.L.I.C.E for a mass shooter training. It is like Run, Hide, and Fight. While with Run, Hide, Fight you only get the three options, A.L.I.C.E gives the user more options in case of emergency. A.L.I.C.E stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. These are many different options so students can get out alive.
Even thinking of being in the same building as an active shooter is a scary thought for many students, but using A.L.I.C.E will help them attempt to get out alive. If students have time and are in the same building, but do not see the shooter around, they are encouraged to evacuate.
If a student does not have the opportunity to get out, it is time to use L for Lockdown. Lock the room door you are in, turn off the lights and barricade it with all of the tables and chairs.
“Typically we want to create as many speed bumps as we can between the active killer and us,” Butler Police Chief Jason Kenney says. “If they do get the door open when it is locked, with all the stuff that is barricaded in front of it will give them a harder time to get through.”
Every campus has a designated area to meet after getting out.
“Once you get away the whole campus is going to be a crime scene; it will be locked down. This is why we tell people don’t plan on using your car,” Kenney says.
Each area for triage must be large enough to be able to hold a lot of people, to land a helicopter in the area in case of emergency medical needs, and media set up. For the main campus in El Dorado, the meeting spot is at the stadium. The Fire Science building on Sixth Street of El Dorado goes to the fire tower. The Agriculture building would head out to the field.
“Those are the threads of the assessment because the main campus, it would be the number one target,” Kenney says.
In Andover, the 5000 and 6000 buildings would go to the sports park because it is big enough for all of the people and it can handle helicopter landings. The 900 and 100 building will go to the hospital on 21st Street. In Rose Hill they follow what the Rose Hill school does, heading to the service center on Rock Road. This is an important part of A.L.I.C.E, so people know where they need to go.
“Every Butler campus is offered A.L.I.C.E training. If they want the class we will come out, set it up and teach it to students, staff, faculty or whoever wants it,” Kenney says.
The A.L.I.C.E course is two hours long with an hour and a half of class work with slides, principles as well as more information on A.L.I.C.E. There is also 30 minutes, or as long as they need for a threat assessment of their area, for example, to show teachers or anyone what options they have in their office or classroom to help them. For example, people think that with an office, one door and no windows that there are no options, but grabbing things off of the desk could be used as a weapon, along with securing the door and hiding under the desk.
Butler Police is trying daily to come up with ways to alert the students on campus and are not in the same building as the active shooter so they can get out safely.
“We [have] a new capital improvement project coming on to help us out with our technology so we can communicate with everyone…What if we have a deaf student that isn’t going to hear an alarm going off so we want to have signage or something to they can read it? [We’re] thinking of putting phones with screens in every classroom so we can make it say ‘Active shooter in 600 building. Initiate A.L.I.C.E….’ We are working on an app and it will show all types of emergencies and just click on which one is happening and it will give you directions on what to do, even a button that will automatically call 911 on it as well. Even a video on the section that you pick and it will show you what to do. This has the potential to put it in every student’s hand so they can be safe through any emergency. The app will even give out an alert through B.E.A.R.S with what is happening,” Kenney says.
For those wanting a chance to learn how to act and be safe during any mass shooting, whether that be in a school, restaurant, store or any other place, A.L.I.C.E will help and keep you safe. If you want to learn A.L.I.C.E, it is a free training. All you have to do is call Kenney or his deputy officer and they will be glad to set up a class for students.
“We want as many people to learn this so we can go in and handle this situation. We don’t want a lot of people running at us freaked out; we just want to see you with your hands up and fingers apart so we can see there is nothing in your hands,” Kenney says.