If you witness an armed individual on campus at any time or an individual who is acting in a hostile or belligerent manner, immediately notify the University Police Department at 414-229-9911.


What Should I Watch For?

Threat assessment is based on the premise that targeted violence is preventable and is the end result of a discernable process. An individual often engages in behaviors that may be indicative of escalation prior to acting out violently. The following are examples of such behaviors and are meant to help you identify potential concerns. These examples are not intended to be all-inclusive nor should it be assumed that an individual who exhibits them will act out violently.

  • An unusual fascination with weapons or violence.
  • Discussions or social media postings indicating an individual is considering acting violently.
  • Statements that violence is an acceptable way to settle grievances or disputes.
  • Fixation on an individual or entity that is perceived as having wronged them.
  • Decreased performance in work or academics.
  • Lack of concern or interest in their future or the wellbeing of others.
  • Numerous conflicts with others.
  • Over-reaction to changes in policies or procedures.
  • Extreme or sudden changes in mood or behavior.
  • Decrease in the ability to control emotions.
  • Unexplained interest in the layout of buildings or emergency response procedures.
  • Deteriorating physical appearance and/or self-care.
  • Loss of inhibitors that may be preventing an individual from acting out violently. Examples of inhibitors include employment, membership in organizations, professional reputation, and personal relationships.

What Should I Do?

Report your concerns. Never assume that the team already has the information or someone else has already reported it. The most accurate assessment can only be completed when all of the known information is made available to the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT). Information you have may be what is needed to give the team a complete picture.

  • IF A THREAT IS IMMINENT, CALL 911 or 414-229-9911.
  • Information that does not require immediate attention may be reported to any of the following:

What Happens Next?

The threat assessment process can be broken down into four phases:

  • Identification – information regarding a potential threat is received. Baseline checks of criminal history and conduct data bases are conducted. Depending on the urgency of the information, the information is addressed by the Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) in a timeline appropriate to the circumstances.
  • Assessment – additional information is obtained through witness interviews and other investigative techniques to determine an individual of concern’s intent and capability with regard to committing acts of violence.
  • A strategy is developed to manage or mitigate the threat. This is generally a two-part process involving an intervention with the individual of concern and the development of a safety plan with the intended victim(s) or target(s).
  • The matter is periodically revisited to ensure that the mitigation strategy is still appropriate and necessary as the situation evolves and conditions change.

Will I Receive Updates?

As a reporting party, you can expect to be contacted to see if you have any additional information. Limited information obtained during the threat assessment may be shared to the extent it is necessary to develop a safety plan for the intended target(s) or victim(s).

Most of the information that is obtained is considered confidential and is not shared to protect the privacy of the individuals involved and the integrity of the assessment.

Active Threat Response Guide

Chances are, you’ll never face an active killer situation. But if you do, you need to be prepared.

An active killer is an individual(s) actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined space or another highly populated area. In most cases, active killers use firearms and display no pattern or method for the selection of their victims. An active killer’s objective is that of mass murder.

Active killer situations are dynamic and evolve rapidly, demanding an immediate response by the community and immediate deployment of law enforcement resources to stop the shooting and prevent further harm to the community.

If an active killer is outside your building:

  • Go to a room that can be locked. Lock the doors and windows and turn off the lights.
  • Get everyone to lie on the floor out of the line of fire.
  • Call 911 and inform the operator of the situation. Give your name, location and any other details that can be provided about the shooter(s), if possible.
  • Stay at your location until the police or a known university official gives the all clear.

If an active killer is in your building:

  • Determine if the room you are in can be locked. If so, follow instructions above.
  • If your room can’t be locked, move to a room that can or exit the building only if it is safe to do so.

If an active killer enters your office or classroom:

  • If possible, call 911 and alert the police to the suspect’s location; if you can’t speak, leave the line open so that the dispatcher can listen and try to pinpoint your location.
  • If you can’t escape, attempting to overpower the killers(s) by force is a last resort.
  • If the killer(s) leave the area, proceed immediately to a safer place, if possible. Do not touch anything that was in the vicinity of the killer(s).
  • If you decide to flee, make sure that you have an escape route or plan in mind. Do not carry anything. Move quickly and quietly, keep your hands visible and follow any instructions given by police officers.
  • Do not attempt to remove injured people; tell the authorities of their location as soon as possible.
  • Do not leave campus until advised to do so from the police.

What to expect from responding police:

  • They will respond to the last area where shots were heard to stop the shooting as quickly as possible.
  • They will normally be in teams of four and armed with rifles, shotguns, and/or handguns.
  • Try to remain calm and do not be afraid; follow all instructions.
  • Put down any bags, packages or other objects and keep your hands visible at all times.
  • If you know where the shooter is, inform the officer of their location.
  • The first officers to arrive will not respond to or aid those who are injured. Rescue teams and emergency personnel will do so as soon as possible.
  • The area will still be a crime scene; police usually will not let anyone leave until the area is secure and all witnesses have been identified and questioned. Stay where you are told until the police dismiss you.

Be Prepared

AVOID starts with your state of mind.

  • Pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Have an exit plan.
  • Move away from the source of the threat as quickly as possible.
  • The more distance and barriers between you and the threat, the better.

DENY when getting away is difficult or maybe impossible.

  • Keep distance between you and the source.
  • Create barriers to prevent or slow down a threat from getting to you.
  • Turn the lights off.
  • Remain out of sight and quiet by hiding behind large objects and silence your phone.

DEFEND because you have the right to protect yourself.

  • If you cannot Avoid or Deny, be prepared to defend yourself.
  • Be aggressive and committed to your actions.
  • Do not fight fairly.

Watch the Avoid | Deny | Defend video below on YouTube
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0It68YxLQQ) for an overview of how to save your life in an active attack event.
Always remember – What You Do Matters.

Additional Training

The ALERRT™ Center at Texas State University:
Since 2002, we have trained more than 130,000 law enforcement officers in 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the District of Columbia in the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) ™ standard for active shooter response, primarily through federal and state funding.