By: Cory William Berlekamp
After another mass shooting in America, the University of Findlay revisits its’ campus policy on how to prepare students in the event of an active shooter.
Since the shootings in Las Vegas on Sunday, Oct. 1 and the fatal shooting of a Texas Tech Campus Security Officer on Monday Oct. 9, policies on active shooters are being reviewed. Although UF policy will not change after these events, Campus Security and police officers are examining what has happened in order to prepare and practice optimal responses to a situation of a similar nature.
Findlay has a crisis response plan that explains different emergency and evacuation procedures. Plans in which students should follow in the case of any of those types emergencies are also described in it.
UF Chief of Police and Director of Security William Spraw oversees the office of campus safety and emergency management and is in charge of alerting and responding to an active shooter on campus.
“One of the main reasons we have a police department is that Dr. Fell really wanted a faster response time if something like this were to happen,” Spraw stated.
Campus Security has two armed officers on-duty and other security guards patrolling the campus throughout the day. The alert system used by students comes from the blue security phones around the campus or from the electronic devices of students.
“We can do a code blue alert,” Spraw said. He states a code blue alert comes from an announcement by the blue phones around campus. “We can do a rave which is the text messaging and email, those are the two main ones which could get done.”
Findlay’s school policy on an active shooter is detailed in the crisis response plan which can be found on the University of Findlay’s safety and security section of the website.
“We have been using what is called run, hide, fight,” said Spraw. “Basically it’s only engage the individual if you have to. Run or barricade yourself in, or if they are right there, fight for your life.”
The Findlay Police Department’s policy on an active shooter changed, along with other departments, after the shootings at Columbine in 1999. Before Columbine, it was a system of waiting for four officers to arrive then entering the scene to take down the threat.
“Everybody trains on the single officer response,” Findlay’s Chief of Police, John Dunbar, explained. “The first officer there goes in, the next officer arrives, goes in. There is no waiting.”
Any time students feel unsafe they can use blue security phones on campus or dial 911 in the case of an emergency. The security team on campus is located at 201 Frazer St. and can be alerted of a crime by calling 419-434-4799.