UTRGV P.D. offers active shooter trainings to promote campus safety

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Password: crase 

By J. Edward Moreno 

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – APRIL 16, 2018 – Forty-five seconds. 

That’s the average reaction time when you find out there’s an active shooter near you. 

“That’s 45 seconds you could have used to get out,” said UTRGV Police Chief Raul Munguia. “In 45 seconds, you can cover a pretty good distance on foot.” 

Since 2015, the UTRGV Police Department has been offering Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event (CRASE) trainings to students, faculty and staff. The trainings are free and happen throughout the year on all UTRGV campuses and sites. 

In light of recent active shooter events across the country, the training has gained popularity, Munguia said. Some people have even contacted UTRGV PD to ask why training like this is not available. In fact, UTRGV has had such training for three years already. 

So, to rectify the lack of awareness, the university has expanded its efforts to ensure that the campus community knows about this potentially life-saving training. 

“These are some skills that not only serve you here in the workplace, but you can take them anywhere,” Munguia said. “A lot of it doesn’t sink in until there’s an unfortunate instance.” 

David Peña, a community engagement officer with UTRGV PD, is one of the instructors for CRASE trainings. 

More than anything, Peña said, it’s important to go into crisis situations with “a winning mindset.” Be aware of your surroundings, he said. 

In the case of an active shooter situation, the university police department urges students to practice caution, and keep the following recommendations in mind: 

  • If you hear something you think might be gunshots, treat them as gunshots (no matter what the sound actually is) and act immediately.
  • Know where the exits are in any building you’re in. Be mindful of the exits (including windows) and make sure they are a viable escape option. 
  • If you hear someone making suspicious comments or engaging in suspicious behavior, let the police department know immediately.

Eric Ramirez, facilities coordinator at the UTRGV Student Union on the Edinburg Campus, who took part in the training, works in one of the busiest buildings on campus, which makes him and the students he supervises uniquely vulnerable to an active shooter event, he said.

 “I want to make sure our student employees are prepared,” Ramirez said. “I want to make sure our students feel safe and that we all feel safe.”

For more information on CRASE trainings or to register, visit: www.utrgv.edu/training. 

David Peña, a community engagement officer with the UTRGV Police Department, talks to an audience of UTRGV staff, faculty and students about what to do in an active shooter event, during a workshop on the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE). (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

David Peña, a community engagement officer with the UTRGV Police Department, talks to an audience of UTRGV staff, faculty and students about what to do in an active shooter event, during a workshop on the Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE). (UTRGV Photo by Paul Chouy)

ABOUT UTRGV 

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions. 

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

MEDIA CONTACTS

Jose.E.Moreno03@utrgv.edu
Staff Writer / 956-665-3639

Marci.Caltabiano@UTRGV.edu
UTRGV Director of News and Internal Communications / 956-665-2742