Homeland Security releases new security plan to protect schools

Rude, hide, fight part of new philosophy

INDIANAPOLIS - Experts have put a new security plan in place to protect Indianapolis schools in case of active shooter incidents.

In the next couple of weeks, the Department of Homeland Security will release a video that urges all school students and school personnel to physically confront an armed intruder if they can’t escape or seek safe shelter.

The five-minute video embraces an evolving shift in philosophy to protect students, school teachers and school personnel. It tells potential victims that if they can't run and if they can't hide, then they must stop and fight.

The video, produced with the technical expertise of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department SWAT Team, aims to give a lesson in survival. It underscores in graphic detail, that schools aren't always safe, as well as the need for a plan to escape or to hide and fight for one's life if necessary.

"You've got to be committed to action. So if you find yourself in a position where you've got to fight, you've got to be committed to that. And you've got to fight because the shooter is there to shoot you anyway," Indianapolis Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons said.

This year alone, police agencies across the nation have investigated 16 school shootings, including last month's fatal shooting of a Purdue University student. While the alleged gunman eventually surrendered without further violence, nearly all other active shooter incidents end in a one-on-one confrontation.

The Homeland Security video explains the need for school personnel to improvise weapons, attack with conviction and aggression and commit to a course of survival.

"If they come in your room, you've got to take them on. You've got to be ready to take them on. You've got to be ready to grab anything you can to take them on. Because they're there to shoot you. That's why they're there," Coons said.

On Thursday afternoon, Indianapolis Public Schools Police Chief Steve Garner issued a statement saying that he has not seen the video but supports the concept of Run, Hide and Fight.

The chief of police of the state's largest school district said he would begin training his police force, administrators and teachers in the concept over the coming months.

Homeland Security officials said they will distribute the video to all 392 schools in Marion County over the coming weeks. Homeland security hopes to distribute the video throughout the entire state.

Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6

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