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UTSA Police Introduce "Choose to Live" Active Shooter Preparedness Video

Premiere was September 18 @ 7 p.m.

Helping Campus Community Prepare For and Prevent the Worst

UTSA Police Department presented the premiere of “Choose to Live” on Tuesday, September 18 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Retama Room of the Main Campus Student Union. This video is aimed at preparing individuals in the event of a violent active shooter incident. Lt. Shawn Smith joined forces with the UTSA Video Production Group and several university departments to create and produce this instructional tool. 

ActiveShooterThe video gives viewers techniques to help save their lives during an act of violence by stressing the importance of Avoid-Deny-Defend principles. It’s aimed at empowering and instilling confidence and the ability to survive such an incident.

“Having this knowledge can empower students, staff and faculty,” said UTSA Police Chief Gerald Lewis. “We all pray and hope that this day will never come, but the video prepares the viewer for this type of event, which could result in lives saved.”

Lt. Smith recruited several UTSA employees and students as actors and shot the video at familiar locations on UTSA’s Main Campus. Many of the extras are expected to attend the premiere. “By producing this in-house, we help viewers identify with the people and classroom settings specific to UTSA,” said Smith. “The video shows the beginning of a typical day in a professor’s and student’s life, which turns into a day none of us want to experience, shattered by an active shooter.” The video reminds viewers that what they do matters. 

UTSA VPBA Communications and UTSA Communications informed the campus community during the taping of the video last fall, assuring people this was a staged event. Smith secured the support and assistance of the San Antonio Fire Department, whose presence added credibility and realism to the production.

Active Shooter long

Know the ADD principles:

AVOID starts with your state of mind. 
                        • Pay  attention to your surroundings.
                        • Have an exit plan.
                        • Move away from the source of the threat as quickly as possible. 
                        • The more distance and barriers between you and the threat, the better.             

DENY access to the perpetrator, when getting away is difficult or maybe even impossible. 
                        • Keep distance between you and the source. 
                        • Create barriers  to prevent or slow down a threat from getting to you.                    
                        • Turn the lights off. 
                        • Remain out of sight and quiet by hiding behind large objects and mute your phone.

DEFEND because you have the right to protect yourself.  
                        • If you cannot Avoid or Deny  be prepared to defend yourself. 
                        • Be aggressive and committed to your actions.   
                        • Do not fight fairly.  THIS IS ABOUT SURVIVAL.

CALL 911 when you are in a safe area.

When Law Enforcement arrives, SHOW YOUR HANDS AND FOLLOW COMMANDS.

To improve your own and campus safety, learn more about the LiveSafe@UTSA app ||Download the app here: 

Read the "Choose to Live" Backgrounder

For more information about the Choose to Live video or to schedule a showing for your department or RSO, contact Lt. Shawn Smith in UTSA Public Safety at 210-458-4242.



Updated 9-19-2018 Original 8-29-2018