- Associated Press - Saturday, October 10, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin’s public universities and technical colleges have emergency plans that include how to respond to a campus shooting, officials with both systems say.

Each University of Wisconsin System campus has a so-called “all-hazards” plan that details how to handle crises including active shooters. The campuses share the plans with faculty and staff several ways including posting the plans online, presenting them during student orientations, text messages and campus-wide email alerts.

UW-La Crosse’s shooter plan, for example, is available through that university’s police department website. The plan recommends that if a shooter is outside a building people inside should hide on the floor in a darkened, locked room and call police while ignoring any voice commands from outside unless they’re clearly coming from police.

If the shooter is clearly in the same building and people can’t lock themselves in a room they should flee the structure if they can do so safely. If a shooter enters a person’s classroom, he or she should call police and keep the line open even if they can’t talk. They should try to negotiate with the shooter. Overpowering the shooter should be a last resort, according to the plan.

UW-Stevens Point has a nearly identical plan. Officials at that school sent an email to faculty, staff and students on Oct. 6, five days after a gunman killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, with links to the plan and urging people to people to review it and sign up for text alerts.

UW-Madison’s police department has a plan for an active shooter on its website as well. That plan says the best option is to run away and call police. If a person can’t flee, he or she should hide and fight only as a last resort. Marc Lovicott, a campus police spokesman, said the agency regularly conducts drills for dealing with a shooter with building occupants, distributes brochures with the shooter plan at student orientations and sends monthly bulletins to building managers covering emergency preparedness, including how to deal with a shooting.

Each state technical college has an all-hazards plan that deals with shooters as well, said Conor Smyth, a spokesman for the Wisconsin Technical College System. Leaders at each college share the plan via the Internet and email, he said. They also present the plans during new staff orientations and in-service sessions. The plans are usually available on campus telephones as well, he said.

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