Hawai`i Police Department Hosts Active Shooter Presentation

Sergeant Paul Kim leads presentation on active shooters at UH Hilo

Editor-in-Chief Peter Holden Chao
Photo Courtesy of Peter Holden Chao

Row of empty seats in an STB conference room

The Hawaiʻi Police Department hosted an Active Shooter Presentation on Oct. 3 in the UH Hilo Science and Technology Building. The security meeting was led by Sergeant Paul Kim, a member of the HPD Special Response Team.

UH Hilo’s Director of Campus Security Rick Murray began the presentation by stating, “Active threats and active shooter situations are happening more and more often. They create a lot of chaos and a lot of indecision. I am absolutely sure that there are a lot of people on our campus who are wondering what do I do, where do I go, how do I get prepared, and how do we respond?”

The presentation led by Kim was aimed at helping the attendees survive from the time the killer starts until they are stopped. “Mass violence is not a new thing,” stated Kim. “It just seems like it’s been happening more often because of the media and Facebook.” He explained that an active shooter does not have to be a person with a gun; instead, it is anyone who can cause a lot of violence in a short amount of time.

“The information that I provide today is not intended to be contrary to you or your organization’s policy, “ said Kim. “Your policy is your own, whatever the policy is of UH. I’m going to share with you the best practices from our experience and nationwide experience. It’s up to you guys to decide maybe we should incorporate that into our policy.”

Kim then went on to define active shooter and explained common characteristics they have shared. “Right now it is considered the greatest domestic terrorist threat,” said Kim. “All they want is to hurt as many people as they can and inflict as much fear on as many people as they can.”

During and active shooter event, Kim stressed the importance of remaining calm and then introduced three main options: Run, Hide and Fight.

“If you can, you want to try to escape. You want to get as far away as you can,” said Kim. “If you think about it, the less people there are in an area where there is a crazy killer, the less people are going to die and get hurt,” Kim continued. “If you cannot get away, then you should hide. Hide and lock yourself in. Secure the immediate area and use whatever tools you have to lock the doors.”

The presentation went on to outline what to report to officers, such as your specific location, the number of people at your location, and the number and severity of injuries. Additionally, the presentation described how to report the assailant by reporting specific location, number of assailants, race and gender, clothing color and style, physical features, the type of weapons, whether or not they have a backpack, if they are recognizable report their name, and report if you have heard explosions in addition to gunshots.

The presentation stated the response of law enforcement would be immediate and that their goal is to locate, contain, and stop the shooter. In the presentation it said, “Officers may point firearms at you while searching. Remain calm. Listen to instructions. Keep hands visible at all times.”

Ke Kalahea reached out to the UH Hilo Director of Security Rick Murray to ask specifically what security was doing to improve safety on campus, the use of Emergency Notification Units, the ability to lock doors in places like the second floor of Campus Center that use electronic keys, safety in areas with large windows such as the library, cafeteria, and bookstore, as well as the time of the presentation and its availability to students and staff who could not attend. Ke Kalahea will make this information available as it is received.