Lockdown/Active Shooter

If a lockdown order is given, staff and students should lock themselves in a secure classroom or office as quickly as possible. A lockdown order may come via the college’s text/email alert system, through the intercoms, or by word of mouth. A lockdown may be issued for incidents that occur off campus, but could potentially affect safety on campus. For example, if an armed robbery occurred at the gas station or Laker apartments, and the gunman was still at large, a lockdown order might be given as a precaution.

In the event of an active shooter on campus, a blanket lockdown order will not be given because, depending on the circumstances, it may be best to evacuate instead. For example, if there was an active shooter in Webb Hall, an alert would go out informing the campus of the situation and location. The alert would say something like “There is an active shooter in Webb Hall. Take appropriate action immediately.” It would be up to individual employees to decide their best course of action. For employees in other buildings it would probably be best to evacuate and get away from the area. For those in Webb, it would probably be best to lockdown. Once an alert is given, employees and students who lockdown should not leave their classroom or office until the all clear is given.

If an active shooter situation occurs, employees must decide between three options: evacuate, shelter in place (lockdown), or attempt to subdue the gunman. More information on these options is outlined below. Any faculty member who does not have the ability to lock their classroom can request a key from the maintenance department by calling extension 5284.

The video “Shots Fired on Campus” is an excellent resource. It provides in depth information for students and employees about what to do in the event of an active shooter on campus, and all employees are encouraged to watch it. Faculty members are encouraged to show it to their students. Any employee who would like to have someone come to their work area or classroom for further discussion can call Jeff Branson at extension 5433.

How to Respond to an Active Shooter

While the likelihood of a shooter on campus is remote, it is best to be prepared for any situation. Active shooter situations are unpredictable, evolve quickly, and are often over in 10 to 15 minutes. Before law enforcement arrives on the scene, individuals must be prepared both mentally and physically to deal with an active shooter situation.

How to Respond When an Active Shooter is in Your Vicinity

Quickly determine the most reasonable way to protect your own life. Students are encouraged to follow the lead of instructors during critical incidents prior to the arrival of law enforcement.


If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind
  • Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  • Leave your belongings behind
  • Help others escape, if possible
  • Prevent individuals from entering the area where the active shooter may be
  • Keep your hands visible
  • Follow the instructions of any Police Officer
  • Generally, do not attempt to move wounded people
  • Call 217-234-5066 or 911 when you are safe

Hide Out (Shelter in Place)

If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.

Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of the shooter’s view
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e. an office with a closed and locked door)

To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock the door
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture

If an active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock the door
  • Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  • Turn off any sources of noise (i.e. radio, televisions)
  • Hide behind large items (i.e. cabinets, desks)
  • Remain quiet
  • Spread out. Do not huddle together in one location

If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:

  • Remain calm
  • Call 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen

Take Action against the Active Shooter

As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling and committing to your actions