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'You are the first responder': De Pere safety officials outline active threat plan

Posted at 5:52 PM, Oct 23, 2023
  • There were 111 active shooter incidents in the United States in 2021 and 2022 combined, according to the FBI
  • The FBI considers an active shooter to be "one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area"
  • St. Norbert College is hosting experts on the opioid crisis and active threats in a presentation about situational awareness
  • The presentations on Thursday are free and you can register here
  • Video shows a De Pere police officer and St. Norbert's campus safety director discussing active threat strategies

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

There was an active threat, or active shooter, incident in the United States once every six or seven days in the last two years, according to a 2023 FBI report. Given that frequency nationwide, safety officials in De Pere say you can never be too prepared.

De Pere police say that in an active threat situation, the best thing to do is some combination of run, hide or fight.

"In all these incidents across the nation, the people that are doing something, the people that are acting, the people that dictate the outcome — are the people that are winning," Community Resource Officer Jedd Bradley said.

At St. Norbert college, Campus Safety Director Eric Dunning says his officers can respond quickly.

"When we've had emergencies here, I would say it's 30 seconds to 60 seconds [to respond]," Dunning said.

Campus safety can lock doors electronically and send out communication, but they do not carry weapons — which leaves a period of time before police arrive.

"Law enforcement is never right there; we're always behind the ball," Bradley said. "In this realistic situation, you are the first responder."

Bradley says the first minutes of an active threat are the most important for bystanders to act.

"It's critical," Bradley said. "It makes it or breaks it. It dictates the number of victims versus number of survivors."

The College's Health Services department hopes educate the community about active threat situations, so it is helping to host a presentation from Bradley. Assistant director Erin Bongers says the presentation is open to anyone.

"We're focused on that preventative measure and connecting people with resources if needed," Bongers said.

The situational awareness event, which covers both the opioid crisis and these active threat situations, takes place Thursday evening at 6 p.m., right here on St. Norbert's campus.