Safety Training Resources & Classes

UPD offers a variety of civilian training programs for the university community, ranging from personal safety to identity theft protection. 

Police Officer and Student Certificate Ceremony

Student Police Academy
Students at TXST are invited to register for the UPD Student Police Academy. The department is thrilled to share their experience and expertise during this program, followed by a four or six hour ride-along. During the academy, students will get a close and inside look of how our department and officers work.

Registration for the Fall 2023 SPA will open in the Fall.

Safety Classes for Students

To register or for more information, contact UPD Community Engagement at or 512.245.2805.

Courses for Faculty and Staff

Please visit Organizational Development and Communications Course Offerings to explore virtual or in-person courses. To register for these courses which are now available in SF Learning, please email or call 512.245.7899.

Video Resources: Protect Yourself During Emergencies

Avoid, Deny, Defend: Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events
Learn evidence-based strategies for surviving an active shooter event.
Note: This staged video contains scenes that viewers may find disturbing.

(Graphic: This video contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing.)  (Voices: 911 what is your emergency. There’s a gunman inside the store, we need help now.) (Gaphic: Five Minutes Earlier.) Video of people in low-tone conversations. Sound of bag unzipping. Sound of bullets and screams. We need help. There’s a gunman inside the store. He’s shooting the place up. We need help now. There’s a man with a gun, he’s right there. Sound of knocking. There’s a guy with a gun he’s shooting. Look. No look. Gun firing. Run, run, run to the loading dock, come on, come on this way. In here, In here. The gunman is coming. What are we going to do? We are going to defend ourselves. Inaudible speaking. You are going to see your daughter tonight. We are all going to go home tonight. All right. We have a right to defend ourselves. Sound of jostling. Get the gun. Hold him down. Hold him down. Sounds of police sirens. Sounds of families reuniting. (Graphic: You Deserve to Survive.) If you ever have the misfortune to be in an active shooter event, you deserve to survive. In our research, we have found that the actions that potential victims take during these events are critical to their survival. We have identified three options that have proven effective in many events. These are avoid the attacker. Deny the attacker access to your area. Defend yourself. It is a personal decision, but you have the right to do so. Avoiding the attacker means being aware of your surroundings at all times and knowing what is going on around you. If you see or hear something that looks suspicious, take action. For example, the stocker took immediate and effective action when he observed the shooter pulling out weapons from the bag. Others however, hesitated and this hesitation can cause them valuable time that they could have used to get away from the threat. If you hear something that is or could be gunfire, do start trying to get away from it as soon as possible. Gunfire has a distinctive sound. Inside of buildings, the sound could be muffled or distorted. (Sounds of gunfire.) A single loud bang could be a person dropping something. (Sound of a pallet hitting a concrete floor.) Or even thunder. (Sound of thunder) But, repeated loud bangs are much more likely to be gunfire. (Sounds of repeated gunfire.) Additionally, look at the reaction of others. Are they startled or scared? Are they running? What are they saying? Any one of these events individually may create denial, but when put together, should create a heightened awareness and stimulate an immediate response. (Graphic: Avoid. Be aware of your surroundings.) Do not hesitate. Go to the closest safe exit. It is important that you know how to get out. The situation will be chaotic and rapidly changing. In general, you will want to go to the nearest exit. But, you must also understand that the closest exit may not be accessible or safe to use. If this is the case, go to a different exit. While avoiding the threat consider the uses of cover and concealment. Cover offers protection from gunfire, while concealment minimizes your exposure to the attacker. Try to keep objects between you and the attacker. (Graphic: Avoid Be aware of your surroundings. Do not hesitate. Go to the Closest, Safe Exit. Deny. Keep the attacker away from you.) If you can’t avoid the attacker, sometimes the best option will be to deny the attacker access to your location. In many locations, this can be accomplished by closing and locking the door. Such as they did in the meeting room. Locking the door has proven effective in many attacks. If the door does not have a lock, you can place heavy objects in front of it. Remember, barricades work best if the door opens toward you. If it doesn’t use things that are readily available such as straps, belts or objects that can be used to block or secure the door to make it difficult for the attacker to enter the room. This may at least slow the attacker down and give you time to identify alternate means of escape such as adjoining rooms or windows. (Graphic: Deny. Keep the attacker away from you. Lock Doors, lights off, out of sight.) When attempting to deny access to your location, you want to make it appear that there is no one in your area. Lock doors, turn off the lights silence your phones and get out of sight. Your attempt to deny the attacker access to your location might fail. (Voices: The gunman’s coming. We’re going to have to defend ourselves.) Have a backup plan about what you will do. In many cases this may be to defend yourself. You need to be in a place where you can act if the attacker comes into your location. In most rooms, you will line up along the same wall that the door is on. Near the door, so you can react, but not directly in front of it. (Graphic: Deny. Keep the attacker away from you. Lock doors. Lights off. Out of sight. Have a back-up plan.)  If you are unable to avoid or deny, your best option may be to defend yourself by using whatever is available. In a situation where someone is attempting to kill you, you have the legal right to defend yourself. (Graphic: Defend. You have the right. Do not fight fair.) Attack weak spots such as eyes, throat and groin. (Graphic: Defend. You have the right.  Do not fight fair. Be aggressive.) Fight to the best of your ability and do not quit until the attacker is stopped. This is what the workers in the warehouse did when they were unable to avoid the attacker and felt their lives were in immediate danger. (Graphic: Defend. You have the right. Do not fight fair. Be aggressive) (Graphic: Call 911) Whatever option you choose, call 911 as soon as you are in a safe location. Provide any information you may know. The operator will ask you a lot of questions. If you don’t know the answer, just say you don’t know and only state the facts. (Muffled sounds on cell phone.) This will be a complex situation and we can’t tell you what you should do in every case. What we can do is provide you with information about the options that we have found to be most effective for surviving these attacks. The ultimate choice is yours. What you do matters. (Graphic: What you do matters. Avoid. Deny. Defend) Avoid the attacker. Deny access to your location. Defend yourself. Law enforcement will be entering a chaotic scene with limited information. Their first priority will be to stop the threat to your safety. (Graphic: When police arrive. Follow Commands.) (Graphic: When Police arrive. Follow Commands. Show your hands.) The police may not know who or where the threat is. Listen and comply with their commands immediately. (Police shouting: Put it down. Put it down sir. Put it down. Both of you, on the ground.) Police are trained to look at people’s hands to assess threats. (Graphic: When Police arrive. Follow Commands. Show your hands.) Do not have anything in your hand that could be perceived as a threat, such as a cell phone. (Police: Show me your hands. Show me your hands sir. Move to us. Everybody keep your hands up please. Walk out the door.) (Graphic: When Police arrive. Follow Commands. Show your hands. Do not move.) If told to do so, stay where you are and do not make sudden movements. Again, follow all commands. (Graphic: When Police arrive. Follow Commands. Show your hands. Do not move.) Remember what you do matters. (Graphic: What you do matters.) Avoid the attacker. (Graphic: Avoid) Deny access to your location. (Graphic: Deny) Defend yourself. (Graphic: Defend) Remember A-D-D. (Graphic: A-D-D) You can survive! (Graphic: You can survive.)

Avoid, Deny, Defend

ALERRT Research
Get an overview of the avoid-deny-defend strategies and learn about the research behind them from Texas State’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center, a nationally recognized safety resource.

Presenter #1: For the purpose of today’s discussion, we are defining an active shooter event as a person or persons entering a location with the intent to cause multiple casualties. Based on data from 2000-2012, active shooter events are becoming more frequent. Between 2009-2012 the number of events significantly increased and averaged more than 15 per year. While we often think of these events as happening at schools. The most frequently attacked locations are actually businesses.   Some attacks are over by the time law enforcement arrives. These attacks don’t end by chance. They end because potential victims too effective actions that save lives. They were able to do this because they were prepared.  The thing to remember is that once law enforcement is notified, they will respond as quickly as possible. Based on our research, the average response time is about three minutes. Your immediate actions should be focused on your personal safety. What you do matters. Researchers found that people go through a three-phase process when they are exposed to life -threatening events. The first stage is denial. During this stage, people tend to deny that something bad is happening and minimize the seriousness of what is occurring. In several active shooter events, the victims heard the gunfire, but denied that it was gunfire and instead told themselves that it was something else like fireworks or construction noises. This denial cost valuable time. The second stage is deliberation. At this point, you’ve realized there is a problem, and you need to decide what to do. The problem is that when you are under high stress, your ability to think is impaired and your body will resort back to a pre-conditioned response. Planning ahead can improve your ability to react more appropriately in that stressful situation. This is why we do things like fire drills. The last stage is the decisive moment. This is when you choose an action and do it. It is important to understand that the situation will be chaotic. The most important thing is to be decisive and act with purpose. In emergency situations, people look to others to see how they should act. How you and your team react to the incident can influence others and affect the outcome. So, how do you prepare? Presenter #2: We’re introducing our avoid, deny, defense strategy. Avoid starts with a state of mind of the person is in. Having a plan to react quickly requires paying attention to your surroundings and understanding your environment. Doorways, stairs, window are a few examples of points of interest to look for. Have a plan about how you’re going to get out in case trouble starts. If trouble does start, get out as quickly as you can. When you feel it’s safe to do so, call 911 and provide any information you can to aid law enforcement. Deny is an option used when getting out of the area is difficult or maybe even impossible to do. If you can’t get out, look for ways to keep distance between you and the threat. The more barriers, the better. Doors can be closed and locked and can prevent or slow down a threat from getting to you. If you can control the lighting in the area, turn the lights off. Try to remain out of sight and quiet. Silence your phone and other items that may make noise. Defend. It’s very important to remember that an active threat is trying to harm you and you do have the right to protect yourself. In most situations, the active threat is outnumbered. One or more people committed to protecting themselves can put the threat at a disadvantage. There are more and more cases, of citizens successfully overwhelming a threat and ending the violence. If you cannot avoid the threat or deny access to your location, be prepared to defend yourself. You must be aggressive and committed to your actions and not fight fairly. This is about survival. When you’re in a safe area call 911. When law enforcement arrives, show your hands, and follow their commands. Law enforcement will be focused on stopping any active threats. Once that is accomplished, they will begin providing further assistance.   Presenter #1: Remember, if you want to succeed later, you have to plan now. Take a few moments to think through what you would do if you were faced with an active shooter situation. And remember, what you do matters.

ALERRT Research