Dear NYU Parent,

In the wake of national tragedies involving guns, we want you to know what NYU is doing to prevent similar events on our campus and what the experts say to do in the unlikely event that one happens.

First, let me reassure you that this message is proactive and not in response to any known threats involving our campus and community. Our NYU Public Safety team and our relationship with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) are strong, and our campus is safe. The most recent FBI Crime Statistics report confirms that New York City is among the safest in the nation, and our own campus statistics show that the neighborhoods where NYU’s buildings are located are among the safest in the city.

The reason I am writing is to share helpful information developed by the Department of Homeland Security and NYPD on how best to keep you and your loved ones safe even in the most unthinkable circumstances.

The likelihood of you or a loved one becoming caught up in a shooting event is very rare; even so, knowing what to do, just in case, can make all the difference. We are engaging in a public education program so that our students, faculty and administrators would know what to do if they needed to. So what do the experts say?
The NYPD has prepared a pamphlet, which can be found by clicking here. In brief, it says there are three things to do if you hear gunfire, as simple as A B C: Avoid. Barricade. Confront.

The DHS uses different words, but the actions are essentially the same: Run. Hide. Fight.
If you hear gunfire:

1. Get out and get away, as quietly and quickly as possible, leaving your belongings behind. Avoid. Run.
2. If you can’t flee, then lock or barricade the doors, silence your cell phone and hide. Barricade. Hide.
3. If all else fails, and only as a last resort, attack the attacker with whatever makeshift weapons you can find to disarm and disable. Confront. Fight.

Of course, always call 911 as soon as it is safe for you to do so.

These are harsh words to read, for a situation that is nearly impossible to imagine. But the people whose job it is to keep us safe say that knowing what to do can save lives.

For a dramatic illustration of these principles, the DHS and the City of Houston co-developed a “Run-Hide-Fight” video which you can find by clicking here:

This is not an NYU video; it is in wide use among other universities and state law enforcement agencies because it provides effective and easily-remembered dramatization of these principles. Please be warned, it is quite chilling and graphic, putting you in the middle of an active shooter event as it suddenly unfolds in an office environment.

This information will be shared with the NYU Community, including students, in a few days; we are providing it to you in advance so you can be aware that your son or daughter will be receiving it and its context. We encourage you to discuss this important safety matter with him or her, and to let us know if you have any concerns. Please be in touch with the NYU Student Wellness Exchange at 212-443-9999 to confidentially share any concerns you may have.

I want to emphasize that we are a remarkably safe and street-smart urban university. We work hard to keep it that way, and to protect our students, faculty, administrators, staff and the larger community. The NYU Public Safety team, one of the largest university security teams in the nation, is on campus around the clock, and of the 76 police precincts in New York City, only one is larger than our team. The NYPD is also one of the nation’s finest police departments, and NYU Public Safety has a strong partnership with them that includes our participation in “NYPD Shield”, a program designed to prevent violent incidents andfacilitate rapid response if one occurs.

The NYPD and NYU’s Public Safety team continue to work every day to ensure the safety of our community. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please be in touch with NYU Public Safety at 212-998-2222.

Jules Martin
Vice President – NYU Public Safety