Close up of police car light

CWRU moves active-aggressor response training, messaging to Run. Hide. Fight.

To help keep the Case Western Reserve community safe, the university’s Division of Public Safety has shifted to the federally supported Run. Hide. Fight. active-aggressor response training. 

This shift also means CWRU Alerts—via email, text, social media and website messages—will now encourage individuals to follow “Run. Hide. Fight.” protocol.

“This move to Run. Hide. Fight. training will not only better prepare our community for a potential active-aggressor situation,” said Megan Koeth, executive director of public safety. “It will also help us more clearly communicate the actions people need to take if such an emergency occurs.”

Through its Run. Hide. Fight. protocol, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Homeland Security recommend that individuals experiencing an active-aggressor situation—e.g., a shooting—run or hide, depending on what’s safest in that moment. The fight option is a last resort.

Training on campus

Since switching from the ALICE method to Run. Hide. Fight. earlier this year, Public Safety staff members have trained hundreds of faculty, staff and students. 

During the approximately one-hour training, available by request, attendees get an in-depth look into an active-shooter or -aggressor situation while learning tactical advantages during an armed-intruder incident.

Public Safety will offer training sessions open to the entire CWRU community Friday, Oct. 6, and Friday, Oct. 20, both at 1 p.m. in Strosacker Auditorium. After this initial training, follow-ups can be done within individual departments for demonstrations of the practical techniques. 

To schedule a training for your department, visit the Public Safety website to fill out a training request form.

If you haven’t yet taken training, or you’re looking for a refresher, below are Run. Hide. Fight. guidelines from CWRU’s Division of Public Safety and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Run. Hide. Fight. overview


If possible, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:

  • Have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Evacuate, regardless of whether others agree to follow.
  • Leave your belongings behind.
  • Help others escape, if possible.
  • Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
  • Keep your hands visible when engaging with law enforcement.
  • Follow the instructions of any police officers.
  • NOT attempt to move wounded people.
  • If you have information on the situation, call CWRU Police at 216.368.3333 when you are safe.


If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you. Your hiding place should:

  • Be out of view.
  • Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction (i.e., an office with a closed and locked door).
  • Not trap you or restrict your options for movement.
  • Be able to prevent an active shooter from entering (i.e., you should be able to lock the door).
  • If you have information on the situation, call CWRU Police at 216.368.3333 when it is safe to do so.

If the active shooter is nearby:

  • Lock the door.
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture.
  • Silence your cell phone.
  • Turn off any source of noise (radios, televisions).
  • Hide behind large items (cabinets, desks).
  • Remain quiet.
  • If evacuation and hiding are not possible, remain calm.
  • Call CWRU Police at 216.368.3333, if possible, to alert police to the active aggressor’s location, as well as details such as:
    • Number of aggressors.
    • Physical description of the aggressors.
    • Types of weapons being used.
    • Number of potential victims.
  • If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen.


As a last resort, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her.
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons.
  • Yelling.
  • Committing to your actions.

To learn more about public safety at CWRU, visit

*The university acknowledges that “run” is not an action that may be physically possible for all members of the campus community; however, for the sake of brevity and clarity in emergency messaging, and in line with the federal Run. Hide. Fight. program, this term will be used. Individuals should flee the area using whatever means of which they are capable.