Letter from SMU PD Chief Jim Walters

Dear SMU Community,

An active shooter can strike anytime, anywhere, or anyone, and it’s critical that you know how to respond as soon as you become aware of this danger. The SMU Police Department and our campus public safety partners are providing a new video resource to help all of us better prepare in case of a deadly threat on the SMU campus.

It is important to note that the video contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing. It depicts a simulated deadly physical force scenario on the SMU campus and provides information about how you can better prepare, should such a threat occur. Viewer discretion is advised.

The video outlines the "Avoid, Deny, Defend" survival method, a national model that SMU has adopted to educate our campus. The tactics shown in this video are the result of in-depth, after-action lessons learned through partnerships with law enforcement agencies, individuals and institutions who have been involved in active shooter situations. This important information can help you plan in advance how to handle a life-threatening attack on our campus including how to report suspicious activity, how to react to the threat and what to expect from responding officers.

Take time to understand your surroundings and environment before an emergency occurs. Ask yourself, “What if?” questions and develop a plan. How you respond to an active attacker will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter. Are you in a leadership role? Is there a disability to consider? Please contact SMU Police to discuss any specific concerns you may have. We have officers trained to help you develop a plan of action that fits your needs.

For more information about crime prevention and preparedness, please visit the SMU PD web page. To request a training session for yourself or your organization, complete this form.

Remember, you can help by being alert to dangerous situations on campus. If you observe an individual with any type of dangerous weapon on the campus, immediately contact the SMU Police Department at 214-768-3333, call 911 or use the SMU Aware Safety App. Click here to learn more about the safety app and how to use it.

Thank you for reviewing these important safety resources and for doing your part to help keep SMU safe.

Jim Walters,
Chief of Police
SMU Police Department