Attendees of violent intruder response training learn vigilance and awareness

The Concordia Courier

Officer Rick Gramer speaks to a crowd of students and faculty.

By Christopher Sexton | 10/6/2023

Irvine Police and Concordia Campus Safety trained students on how to respond to violent intruders in a special lesson two weeks ago on campus. A few of the students shared what they learned in order that everyone may have the skills to prevent dangerous situations from occurring in the future.

Attendees of Violent Intruder Response Training (VIRT) were given a lecture focused on possible acts of violence in a school setting, before participating in a simulation designed to exhibit this topic in a more realistic, but safe, way.

“It gave me a good idea of how to defend myself,” said senior RA Christos Gkitersos. He continued, “Know your exits, know if the doors lock. These are good things to know when you are walking into a room.”

Police Officer Rick Gramer, host of VIRT, was one of the supporters that encouraged Concordia to add locks to classroom doors in Grimm Hall. “Violence takes the path of least resistance,” he said in his lecture. Gramer, who has been administering VIRT for years, emphasizes the idea that little things, such as locked doors or closed windows, can make all the difference in the event of a violent emergency.

Grant Lee, sophomore campus safety assistant, agreed with Gramer’s idea of the little things. “Be aware of your surroundings,” he said. Lee continued that it is important to “understand what is going on, and get to safety as soon as possible.”

Stopping an act of violence does not need to happen while it is occurring, it can happen before.

Gkitersos, in recounting what was learned at VIRT, said to “look for the signs. It’s a planned thing. Pay a little bit of attention, and care too.” It is important to acknowledge that violent acts are usually not performed on a whim, but rather, are planned and thought out. “Bad people are bad guys,” said senior RA Chris Haygood.

Keep an eye out for suspicious people, and report them to Campus Safety or the police.

Concordia Campus Safety and Irvine PD take threats of violence, reports of violence, and any related situation seriously. Police response time to Concordia’s campus is around “two to three minutes,” said Gramer. This is incredibly fast when compared to the national average police response time of 10 minutes.

In the event of any suspected or active violent incident, do not hesitate to call 911. If necessary, 911 can be texted as well.

The Campus Safety department also encourages all faculty, staff and students to download TitanHST to their phones. TitanHST is an app that allows users to quickly alert Campus Safety in the event of any sort of emergency, or in a non-emergency, such as requesting a safety escort in a golf cart.

TitanHST’s main benefit lies in its alert functionality. Campus Safety officers have the ability to send a message to all faculty, staff and students simultaneously in order to relay information and instructions during an emergency. The app can be downloaded off of Google Play or the App Store.




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