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‘Run, hide, fight’ tactic in active shootings may be outdated, security experts say

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

By now, you should at least be familiar with the phrase, Run, Hide, Fight. That was the guidance put out by the US Department of Homeland security… IN 2008. How many of us are using the exact same methodologies in our work today? As times change, research changes, better practices are more successful, and we learn from mistakes that are made.

Your response on what to do in the event of a mass shooting should be no different.


Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Fetherolf recently stated in an article to CNN that, newer guidance advises doing what you can to deny the shooter access to you – such as keeping your distance and creating barriers – rather than hiding and potentially waiting for a gunman to find you. And that fifty percent of active shooter events end before law enforcement gets there. That statistic tells us as law enforcement is it doesn’t even matter how much we train for these active events, but it matters a lot on how we train our civilians and how civilians respond because they’re always there.


Hiding is the second worst thing you can do in an Active Threat event. You must have a plan. That plan must be optioned based, given the specific threat you face, the location you are at, and the options available to you at that time.


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