The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Lecture trains community: ‘diminish threat, care for peers’

By Karenna Reyna 

A sense of community involvement and connection will make the campus a safer place overall.

Steve Ramirez, a criminology and criminal justice lecturer at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, offered that sentiment to an audience Oct. 5 during his lecture, “Building a Response to the Threat of Active Shooter/Killer and Terrorism.”

Ramirez’s lecture included specific ways Texas A&M-San Antonio can implement safety standards using critical thinking, problem solving and strategic planning. was dedicated to campus safety and promoting self-directing learning if threats occur.

The lecture was the first in a fall lecture series organized by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Ramirez has more than 30 years of experience in leadership positions in military and civilian law enforcement. He served five years in the United States Marine Corps Diplomatic Protection/Counter Terrorism Unit and was the Director of Law Enforcement, Homeland Security and Institutional Research for School Safety. Ramirez led the development of the safety, security and preparedness standards for campus communities across Texas.

Ramirez emphasized the need to know and practice prevention tactics.

“Building a Community,” means connecting and caring for peers around the workplace and as students, he offered.

Ramirez said active empowerment and effective communication is key when preparing for active shooter/terrorism planning. He advised to know who are the conceal and carry persons in the classroom and any peace officers and/or active or retired police force. He advises to “always be aware of your surroundings and know the exits of the building you are in.”

He said taking a look at any severe changes in the behavior of others can prevent a potentially terrible situation from happening. If there is suspicious behavior going on, it is always best to report it before it may be too late.

“The only opening we have is pre-incident,” Ramirez said. “Chins up and eyes open.”

Texas A&M-San Antonio requires employees to take a TAMUSA Micro Model training, which teaches employees the run, hide and fight technique.

Ramirez said he wants to educate and empower the campus by “choosing a Jaguar way of doing things.”

This is in part with proper police training, environmental design, planning and exercising.

Ramirez also recommends distancing yourself from the shooter, shield with anything near and use your surroundings as a weapon or barricade. Think logical and take immediate action. Staying still, he said, is the most life threatening in a situation like this.

Demonstrating with a prop gun, Ramirez showed audience members the power of a gun is the hole, so stay clear and take control.

“Don’t be afraid, be aware!” he cautioned.

About the Author

Karenna Reyna
Karenna Reyna is a reporter for Jaguar Student Media at Texas A&M-San Antonio where she is pursuing a degree in communications and sociology with a focus in public relations and marketing. Entering her senior year, Reyna just completed an internship with local PR Agency, Sammis & Ochoa Public Relations, located in the heart of Downtown San Antonio. In her final semester, she was hired as the event and marketing intern at San Antonio Parks Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide enhancements to city and county parks. Upon graduation this fall, Reyna’s main goal is to work with underprivileged communities in San Antonio utilizing her Communications degree and experience. Karenna enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, trying new restaurants, and hanging with her pup, Grover. She loves almost anything that gets her outdoors.

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