Campus Safety & Security

Campus Lockdown Procedures

The purpose of a lockdown is to minimize accessibility to rooms/buildings on campus to reduce the risk of injury or danger to faculty, staff, students or visitors. An incident with an armed student on our South Campus in 2015 was a reminder that threats against our safety do occur, and the need to lockdown our campuses is occasionally necessary. Fortunately, incidents like that are rare. Still, we must be prepared. It seems fitting to remind ourselves of the College procedure for dealing with lockdown incidents. When ordered to lockdown, immediately take the following actions:

As with all emergency communications, compliance with directives is mandatory for anyone on Rowan-Cabarrus property. Read or listen to the message to ensure you understand the reason for the lockdown. Upon receiving directive to “Lockdown”:

  • Immediately cease all activity (I.e., teaching, group work, meetings, etc.)
  • Close and lock all doors and windows where you are. Do this quickly to minimize sound and movement. Do not let anyone else into your room once you close and lock it unless you can do so with a high degree of certainty that you will be safe.
  • If you are in a space that cannot be secured (I.e. Hallways, Student Center, Courtyard), find a lockable room and stay there until law enforcement officers or College officials direct you to move. Hallways, student centers and cafeterias are the riskiest areas.
  • Turn off lights.
  • Turn cellphones to silent mode.
  • Get out of the line of site. This may require you to get up against an interior wall perpendicular to a door window. This may be the most important thing that you do. Remember the old saying that goes “out of sight-out of mind.”
  • Remain quiet, calm and still. Remember, those intending to do violence know that they have limited time and will be looking for easy victims. They will not spend a lot of time looking in any particular place if there is no indication victims are in the area.
  • Provide comfort to those who may be panicked. Try to calm them and get them to remain quiet.
  • Remain under lockdown until told from an official source that the crisis is over.
  • If you are directed by police to leave your secured area, assist others in moving as quietly as quickly as possible.
  • Do not activate fire alarms since this will trigger people to leave safe areas and go outside where it might not be as safe or put them in a position where they encounter the threat.

Faculty or staff in control of students at the time of the lockdown are responsible for those students at that time. Faculty and staff member are responsible for accounting for students and ensuring that no leaves the safe area. When the condition causing the lockdown has been cleared, an “all clear – lockdown is over” announcement will be made through the campus emergency notification system.

Other things you may do, if you can do so safely.:

  • Assist with the announcement of the lockdown by using your voice.
  • Assist with clearing persons from hallways and other exposed areas and direct them to safety.
  • Barricade doors and place paper over door windows.

Remember that these actions may be risky since you may expose yourself and others to a threat. Do not do these unless you are certain you can do safely.

Preventative safety:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Keep your office or classroom door in the locked position, even if the door is open.
  • Know your best escape routes.
  • Take the time to review the “Emergency Instructions Guide” located in each classroom and office.

Remember: These are general guidelines. All emergencies are different and may require response changes as events unfold. Information that you receive about the event may be erroneous and constantly changing. Also, remember that you are your best defense. Be prepared before an event occurs. There are also different types of lockdowns. They may be variously knows as “secure in place” or “shelter in place.” These types are used to reduce exposure to external chemical leaks, gas leaks or bomb threats.