The Moraine Valley Police Department provides primary first responder service to the college community on our main campus in Palos Hills, the Education Center at Blue Island, and the Southwest Education Center in Tinley Park.
Power outages, fires, building failures, hazmat situations, and weather-related evacuations and closings are the primary threats on our campuses. We ask students and staff to remember that Moraine Valley is protected by a fully trained police department and has adopted a “Shelter in Place” philosophy at the college.
In an emergency, the college police department will communicate through our integrated public address system that covers all common areas within the college, email and our mass text message notification system. Students, staff and faculty—sign up now for text message alerts.
Under most circumstances, we will ask all persons to take shelter in the buildings they are in and follow directions of the campus police and building captains located within the buildings. Building captains can be identified as those persons wearing bright green vests that state “Building Captains.” These volunteers have been trained to support the police department functions in times of emergency.
In a situation where the buildings are not safe, such as fires or building failures, those in the building are asked to follow the directions issued by the police department over the PA and evacuate to designated buildings as instructed. Community service staff, building captains and police officers will assist in the relocation of any persons who are unable to evacuate themselves.
Disabled persons who need assistance during an evacuation may be transported to the closest “red phone.” Once contact has been made with the dispatch center, the assisting party may leave the building. The disabled person will remain in contact with police dispatch until police department staff arrives. The campus “red phones” are located throughout all main hallways in all of the buildings. They work as a direct dial to the dispatch center and their locations are listed on our dispatch desk once they are activated.
Faculty should make sure their students who need assistance and cannot self-evacuate safely, are moved to the red phone locations and contact is made with dispatch. Once this has been completed, faculty should remove themselves and their other students from harm. Unless in the judgment of the faculty member, there is not time to contact the police department and there is an extreme immediate risk to the disabled person, evacuating disabled students or staff downstairs should not be attempted by untrained staff or students.
Lockdowns, Violent Intruders and Active shooters
While Moraine Valley Community College has one of the lowest crime rates of any public institution in the state, there are always those unknowns that occur without warning. Should a violent intruder enter one of our campus buildings, the police department will respond to intervene in the incident. Our dispatch staff will automatically lock down the exterior doors to prevent persons from moving from one building to another. You should follow police department directions and do not take it upon yourself to open doors for persons outside. Keep in mind there is no “set look” for an active shooter; it could be anyone. If you hear or see a person with a weapon, you should call campus police at (708) 974-5555, use a red phone, dial 911 on your cell phone, or hit the blue light panic buttons in the parking lots. Give your location and description of the person if you can.
If you hear what sounds like gun shots and you are not sure, remove yourself from the area and call the police if you can. If not, turn off the lights in your classroom or office, block the door with furniture and silence your phone. Do not go out into open areas. Remain quiet and vigilant. Remember, if there is a person who is trying to do harm at the college they are looking for targets. The campus police department is just moments away. When the campus police arrive, they are not there to rescue you, they are there to actively engage the offender and end the threat to you and others. Stay where you are until you are told to do otherwise. Do not run out into the hallways and approach the police officers. They do not know if you are a faculty member, a student or the person who is threatening the well-being of others.
If the police come upon you, show them your open hands. Again, they are trained to look for threats and are not sure who is a suspect. Do not move until you are told to do so. Remember to move in a coordinated, controlled manner. We should react with three survival words in our minds at all times. Further information may be viewed by watching this Department of Homeland Security – City of Houston Active Shooter Video: RUN, HIDE, and FIGHT.
- Run if a safe path is available. Always try to escape or evacuate even if others insist on staying.
- Encourage others to leave with you, but don’t let the indecision of others slow down your own effort to escape.
- If you can’t get out safely, find a place to hide.
- When hiding, turn out the lights, lock doors and silence your ringer and vibration mode on your cell phone. As a last resort, working together or alone, act with aggression, use improvised weapons and fight.