A “lockdown” is a temporary sheltering technique utilized to limit civilian exposure to imminent threat of violence. A lockdown will be made only if there is a serious risk of danger to staff, faculty and students. The general purpose of a lockdown is to convert a building into a large “Safe Room.” The decision to initiate building lockdown procedures may be at the discretion of University officials or in response to a request by local law enforcement officials.
Responsibilities of Public Safety
In the event of a situation requiring the initiation of building lockdown procedures, Public Safety Officers will perform the following tasks to the extent possible:
- Declare and initiate the lockdown directive;
- Activate appropriate emergency notification systems;
- Immediately respond to the scene;
- Contact and coordinate with the Chicago Police Department;
- Provide security for the scene;
- Advise Facility Operations staff to switch to the Public Safety radio channel;
- Lock and secure perimeter building doors with assistance from Facility Operations staff, custodians and maintenance personnel as needed;
- Post pre-printed signs on all lobby doors if safe to do so; and
- Attempt to discourage building occupants from exiting the building
Lockdown involving a Traditional Residence Halls
Once notified of a lockdown in a traditional residence hall, all Department of Housing and Resident Education staff physically present in the locked down building are to move directly to a safe location and communicate with staff outside of locked down facilities as is safe to do so via phone calls, texts, instant message, etc. Specific responsibilities during a lock down (as safety allows) are as follows:
- Get in an interior location, office or room, preferably one that has the ability to be locked. Turn off lights and stay away from windows. For the staff working the front desk (if applicable), evacuate the lobby desk and seek shelter wherever possible (not in the open);
- Notify Public Safety, supervisors, and possibly the main offices of the Department of Housing and Residential Education, if possible. Do not jeopardize safety to make any such notifications. If notification can be made, staff should describe their location in the building and any other pertinent info they may have.
- Discourage students from exiting the building, if possible.
Once the lockdown has concluded and the building has been re-opened, staff should follow these steps:
- For staff working at the front desk, they should immediately return to this location to ensure swipe readers are back online so residents can enter the building.
- Inform supervisors and the Department of Housing/Residential Education that the lockdown has been lifted and normal operations have resumed.
- For Resident Advisor staff – do a walk of the building checking in on students to ensure everyone is okay.