LAS VEGAS -- The odds of a mass shooting taking place are slim, but no school campus can take any chances. UNLV's Police Department actively trains for a scenario involving a gunman on campus.
College is a place where one goes to broaden the mind. However, this generation of students, faculty and staff sadly must learn how to protect themselves against a crazed gunman. Unfortunately, it's a real-life scenario that has played out on other school grounds.
"I've been in this business a long time. That's what keeps me awake at night, making sure we are as prepared as possible because you can't prevent these things," said Chief Jose Elique, UNLV Police Department.
Chief Elique and his officers regularly train to identify, engage and eliminate the threat an active shooter could pose.
"And for a lot people, that means taking the person out, killing them," he said.
In this particular discussion, students are also learning how to react when confronted by a gunman.
"If you hear things that sound like gunshots, don't waste time second guessing yourself. React like it is a gunshot," UNLV student Samuel Tuala said.
Students are also taught to spread out and hide if cornered by a shooter. In some situations, they are told to distract the shooter or, as a last resort, attempt to harm the shooter.
"I actually didn't know if it was OK to take out a shooter, and that would be something that is good to know," UNLV student Grace Funcion said.
Chances are, none of the students will ever face a shooter on campus, but with carnage on campuses a grim reality, this is a lesson in survival, one they hope they never have to use.
UNLV also has a behavioral intervention team that can identify potentially dangerous students. The university community is encouraged to report any student who may be acting out or making threats. There are also 75 emergency call boxes placed around the campus for people to report suspicious activity.