72°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Public Safety holds seminars regarding active shooters

Boston+Police+officers+arrived+to+assist+UMass+Boston+Public+Safety+after+report+of+an+armed+gunman+in+McCormack+Hall+last+December
Boston Police officers arrived to assist UMass Boston Public Safety after report of an armed gunman in McCormack Hall last December

The University of Massachusetts Boston Public Safety Department will begin hosting “Active Shooter Awareness” seminars every month. The first seminar took place in February and was hosted by the Public Safety and Office of Emergency Preparedness.
The seminars are designed to teach students and faculty what an active shooter situation is, and how to prepare and react for one.
Acting Chief and Director of Public Safety Donald Baynard explained that an active shooter situation is when “an individual or individuals [are] actively killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area.” He noted that “in most cases, an active shooter uses a firearm and there is no pattern or method to victim selection. Their primary purpose is to harm, injure, or kill as many people as possible.”
The Department of Public Safety developed these seminars with a mindset that they will eventually have all the students and faculty at UMass Boston be prepared in case an incident should happen on campus.
Chief Baynard explained that that the point of the seminar is not to scare people, but to “educate our community on an active shooter incident. We hope everyone who has attended our seminar to date has taken away some information to aid in their safety, the safety of others, and to develop a survival mindset.”
In addition to educating the students and faculty, Public Safety also features live training demonstrations in which Public Safety responds to a staged scenario of a gunman somewhere on campus. This August, Public Safety will be holding another one of these training sessions.
Public Safety officers are trained to respond to a potential gunman in a variety of ways including being able to assemble into an Intermediate Action Team (IAT). Baynard described these teams as “two or more members who will respond to and eliminate the threat.” He noted that the tactics they are trained in are special; they are not to be “associated as SWAT methods or any other highly trained police personnel.”
Public Safety meets regularly with the Boston Police Department, Boston School Police, MBTA Transit Police, and Harbor Point Security. They also meet with members of the Massachusetts College Law Enforcement Agencies (MACLEA), Massachusetts State Police, and the FBI quarterly to go over data and new legal policies.

Students who are interested in attending one of the seminars are directed to visit http://univmassboston.gosignmeup.com. Questions regarding an Active Shooter situation should be sent to the Office of Emergency Management at [email protected] or the office phone at 617-287-6821.