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Responding to Violent Incidents

In light of tragedies that have occurred on other college campuses, it is important to know that officials advise there is no single response or direction that will absolutely secure everyone's safety. Every situation is unique and complex. For this reason, procedures vary from incident to incident.

Brightspace Emergency Preparedness Training

Be aware that the 911 system will likely be overwhelmed in the case of an emergency. We recommend saving the University Police phone number, 315-312-5555, to your cell phone.

Dial 911 to connect with:

  • New York State Police
  • Oswego City Police
  • Oswego County Sheriff's Department
  • Oswego Fire Department
  • University Police: 315-312-5555
  • Campus ambulance (SAVAC): 315-312-4003
  • Counseling Services: 315-312-4416
  • Health Services: 315-312-4100

Criminal Violent Behavior

Everyone is asked to assist in making the campus a safe place by being alert to suspicious situations or persons. Notify University Police at 315-312-5555 immediately if:

  • you witness a criminal act or notice someone acting suspiciously on campus
  • you are the victim of a crime, including assault, robbery, theft, a sexual crime, etc.
  • you are involved in any on-campus violation of the law 

Provide the following information:

  • Your name and address
  • Nature of the incident
  • Location of the incident
  • Description of the person(s) involved
  • Description of the property involved

Assist the police when they arrive by supplying them with any additional information requested and ask others to do the same. Be willing to press charges and fully cooperate with law enforcement.

Standard Response Protocol

In an emergency, take action by following the procedures below.


Stay in your room or area, clear the halls


  • Clear the hallways and remain in your area or room until the “All Clear” is announced 
  • Do business as usual 

Instructors and Staff

  • Close the door and lock it, if possible 
  • Account for students, visitors and others 
  • Do business as usual


Get inside and lock the doors


  • Return to inside of building 
  • Do business as usual 

Instructors and Staff

  • Bring everyone indoors 
  • Lock outside doors 
  • Increase situational awareness 
  • Account for students, visitors and others 
  • Do business as usual


Locks, lights, out of sight


  • Move away from sight 
  • Maintain silence 
  • Do not open the door 
  • Prepare to evade or defend 

Instructors and Staff

  • Recover people from hallway, if possible 
  • Close and lock the door, if possible 
  • Turn out the lights 
  • Move away from sight 
  • Maintain silence 
  • Do not open the door 
  • Prepare to evade or defend


Leave building and go to specified location, if known


  • Leave belongings behind, if required to 
  • If possible, bring your phone 
  • Follow instructions 

Instructors and Staff

  • Lead evacuation to specified location 
  • Account for students, visitors and others 
  • Notify authorities of missing or injured people


Hazard and safety strategy


Use appropriate safety strategy for the hazard:

  • Tornado: Evacuate to shelter area
  • Hazmat: Seal the room
  • Earthquake: Drop, cover and hold
  • Tsunami: Get to high ground

Instructors and Staff

  • Lead safety strategy
  • Account for students, visitors and others
  • Notify authorities of missing, additional, or injured people

Active Shooter

If you can safely do so without drawing attention to yourself, call 315-312-5555 or 911. Tell the police where you are, where you heard the shots and how many people are in the room. Keep the phone line open if the dispatcher asks you to. 

Note and remember physical characteristics of the shooter, direction of travel, number of shooters, type of weapon, etc. Convey that information as soon as possible, without compromising your own safety, to police/emergency responders. 

  • Do not panic. Remain calm. 
  • Seek secure shelter. If possible, go to a room or office with a lockable door. 
  • Close and lock the door, cover windows or barricade the door if there’s no lock. 
  • Turn off lights and get on the floor. Keep out of sight by hiding behind tables, desks, cabinets or other furniture. 
  • Keep absolutely quiet. Silence cell phones. 
  • If in a safe location away from the shooting, remain there. 
  • If possible, put a solid barrier between yourself and the shooter. This can be a solid wall, a thick wooden desk, an engine block in a car, or anything solid enough to stop bullets from penetrating. 
  • If an opportunity presents to escape, be willing to act quickly to run away from the scene and call 315-312-5555 or 911. 
  • If necessary, and the shooter is near and danger is imminent, consider acting with others to overpower the shooter if the option presents itself. Use any weapon that is available to you. 
  • If injured, try to stop bleeding wounds by and maintaining direct pressure.

Hostage Situation

  • If the shooter is not aware you are present, remain quiet and hidden. Do not draw attention to yourself.
  • Do as the shooter demands.
  • If the shooter asks you a question, answer directly and concisely.
  • Do not look at the shooter directly but try to remember any details about physical characteristics.
  • If the shooter demands money or other valuables, give them up quickly with no hesitance or resistance.

Shelter in Place

  • Alert others. Follow emergency procedures. Call University Police, 911, or a local emergency number. Provide essential information, such as the type of emergency, the location, a description of the attacker(s) and the type of weapons involved. 
  • Get away, only if you can escape quickly and safely. Identify an escape route first. Leave all belongings behind. If possible, stay behind furniture, buildings, cars, etc. Warn others as you go. 
  • Lock down. If you cannot escape, hide in the nearest room. Lock or barricade doors, and close and cover windows. Turn off lights, and be very quiet. Do not open doors until law enforcement gives the "all clear" signal. 
  • Take cover. If attackers are armed, hide in a place that totally blocks you from the view of the attackers. If there is nowhere to hide, lie flat on the ground. Stay away from doors and windows. If a shooter is in the same room with you and gunshots have been fired, it may help to "play dead" until escape is possible or help arrives.

Bomb Threat

If you receive a threatening call, do not hang up. Have someone else call University Police. Attempt to engage the caller in a conversation and obtain as much information as possible. Caller ID is also available on most phones. Don’t put the caller on hold. 

If you see something that appears to be an explosive, or if a bomb is found, do not move, jar or touch the object or anything attached to it. Take personal belongings when you leave. Leave doors and windows open; do not turn light switches on or off.

Take notice of what you can hear from the caller

  • Male or female?
  • Young or old?
  • Calm? Angry?
  • What sounds are in the background?
  • Record the caller’s exact words, if possible.

If it is a bomb threat, ask these questions:

  • What is the threat?
  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • What does it look like? What kind is it?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Where is the bomb?
  • Who placed the bomb?
  • Why was the bomb placed?


Oswego University Police, in conjunction with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, will notify the campus community in the event of an emergency in a variety of ways, including e-mail and the University Police website homepage.

University Police

Pathfinder Hall 
SUNY Oswego 
Oswego, NY 13126 

GPS coordinates:
43.450660, -76.547837

Contact Us

Phone: 315-312-5555

Email: [email protected]

Emergency Numbers

Campus ambulance: 315-312-5555
Emergency: 911
Oswego City Police: 911
Oswego County Sheriff's Department: 911