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Tribe to implement Active Shooter Training

Photo Credit: Jeremy Wade Shockley | The Southern Ute Drum


The Southern Ute Indian Tribe is in the process of implementing a series of active shooter training drills for their employees, entities.

“Tribal Council recognized the need to have a plan in place and have employees trained,” said Kathi Gurule, Emergency & Risk manager for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. “In trying to make this happen, we have written policy as to how the buildings within the Tribe are secured as the situation escalates or deescalates.”

“We want employees to have situational awareness,” Gurule said. “These trainings will give people the skills to make those choices.”

Homeland Security protocol says – Run, Hide, Fight.

The process of creating a plan and setting up training drills first began in June of 2016.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe has coordinated their efforts with the Ignacio School District in this effort to improve and insure clear communication. “The terminology that we will be using is the same as Ignacio School District,” Gurule said. They have adopted the communication protocol set forth by the “I Love U Guys” foundation, who believes in critical communication in a crisis.

“We now say ‘Lockout’ when the buildings are locked, but employees will continue to operate. In the event of a ‘Lockdown’ — no one in, no one out, in this instance employees may be instructed to secure themselves,” Gurule said.

The Leonard C. Burch building will have an intercom system to facilitate visitors during that time.

Additionally, the ALERTUS program will soon be operational across all three tribal entities; Sky Ute Casino, Southern Ute Growth Fund, and the Tribe’s Permanent Fund. ALERTUS is a mass notification system designed to give alerts across one or more tribal facilities in the event of an emergency or closure. If a notice is posted, it will appear on computer screens and outdoor signs with instructions on what to do to protect yourself.

Notices and alerts will also be available via the tribal member only website, the Tribe’s Facebook page, and KSUT.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe has planned these drills together with the Growth Fund, Casino and Head Start.

“We realize that this may disrupt visitor and guest access to buildings, but feel it is an important training for employees,” Gurule said. “The more realistic scenario is going to enable people to think on their feet.”

Active Shooter Drills will be conducted with the Southern Ute Police Department and Southern Ute Tribal Rangers between the dates of June 12-23.

The Southern Ute Tribe is also preparing a large-scale drill to take place at the end of the summer; this action plan will involve community agencies throughout the Ignacio area, the Ignacio School District and the Town of Ignacio.



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