Active threat awareness

June 16, 2022

Ensuring our campuses are safe places for students, faculty and staff to learn, teach and work is a top priority for SFU.

With mass shootings in the US and surprising recent media reports about a murder trial of a person who had also had thoughts of killing members of the SFU community while he was a student in 2020, understandably many people may be feeling distress or worry. If this is you, please ensure that you reach out for support. The SFU Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provides confidential, professional assistance to help SFU employees and their family members.

Thankfully, active threats are incredibly rare on Canadian campuses, and consistent with international best practices, SFU invests in a range of prevention and early intervention measures to help prevent violence on campus. SFU’s Campus Public Safety (CPS) group, within the Safety & Risk Services department is led by two specialists in behavioural threat assessment and management, which is an evidence-based, multi-disciplinary approach to preventing violence through early intervention and integrated support to persons in need of help.

At the same time it is important that we are all aware of what to do in event of an active threat. If an active threat situation arose at an SFU campus, SFU Safety Risk Services (SRS) would support and take direction from local police, who would lead the response.

In an emergency where we need to advise our community, SFU would send safety messages through the SFU SNAP app, as well as through other university channels, like Twitter.

Emergency procedure posters are physically posted across all three SFU campuses in public spaces and in most classrooms. These posters include prompts to run/hide/take action in an active threat situation, as well prompts to call 911 and the number for campus security.

What else can you do?

  • Review SRS guidance for active threats
  • See something, say something. If you see something suspicious, please report it to Campus Public Safety.
  • If you observe concerning or uncharacteristic behaviour of a student, please contact the Office of Student Support, Rights and Responsibilities.
  • Safety is a shared responsibility, as you move about campus, be aware of your surroundings, ensure CPS numbers are saved in your phone and that you know where emergency phones are on campus.
  • Download the SFU SNAP app and enable notifications. The app is available through iTunes and Google Play.
  • Reach out via the Employee Family Assistance Program if you need emotional support or someone to talk to. Help is available 24/7.
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