The University police department has hosted over 60 Hostile Intruder Training sessions in Corwin Pavilion since January, building upon a program that has been running for nearly nine years to promote self-defense in Isla Vista.
Sergeant Matt Bowman, coordinator of the training event, said he strives to “make the event as comfortable as possible” because discussing active shooters and what may unfold in a certain situation can be a sensitive subject.
If organizers aren’t sensitive, he said, this could easily turn into an event that only instills fear in the audience.
On average, 100 people attend these events. Attendees typically include administrators, campus employers and a few students.
The main goal of this session is to provide information and tactics that can potentially save lives in a situation where there is an active shooter.
Training includes the nationally recognized methods of “Run, Hide, Fight.”
Sgt. Bowman said organizers try to select days and times that best accommodate the schedule of busy UCSB students, faculty and organizations.
Sgt. Bowman said he suggests that all students attend this event in order to properly inform themselves about how to react in situations similar to the Isla Vista shooting on May 23, 2014.
If a student requests, Sgt. Bowman creates a personalized plan for students to protect themselves from an active shooter, if they find themselves in their dorm room during an incident. Resident assistants can also have a group presentation for their floor.
“No group is too big or too small,” Bowman said.
Administrative departments, workplaces and student groups can also sign up to obtain personalized training to ensure that, if a situation with a hostile intruder emerges, they will know what to do. Such training, Sgt. Bowman said, will help create a safer environment for everyone involved.
The course is presented as a lecture that includes a PowerPoint presentation and a 20-minute video followed by a Q&A session.
UCPD has also partnered with Counseling & Psychological Services (C.A.P.S.) to ensure there is psychological support and aid available to those who attend.
When asked why UCPD wanted to create this program, Sgt. Bowman said it is “an area of concern.” He went on to say it was something people at UCSB wanted and it is something that has affected our community and is still affecting our society.
UCPD will host its fourth-consecutive Hostile Intruder Prevention course on Nov. 8 from 2-3 p.m. at Corwin Pavilion.