Staying safe on campus post Ohio State attacks

Staying safe on campus

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A student at The Ohio State University drove his car into a group of pedestrians Monday, then stabbed several more with a butcher knife. Eleven people were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, however, the attacker was shot and killed by a campus police officer.

That attack raised questions about security measures at college campuses across the country. Figures show there have been more than 200 attacks on college campuses since 2003.

The thought of an active shooter on campus is a school’s worst nightmare, but Raymond Bessette, executive director of campus security at Husson University, is reassuring students and parents.

“The possibility or the potential for an event like that to occur is very low,” he said.

Although it is not an everyday situation, he is still not taking any chances. “I think we need to prepare for the unlikely event of a situation occurring on your campus,” Bessette said.

Like most universities, there is a solid plan to keep students and faculty safe.

The first step is to send out mass emails and text message alerts of the situation. The second step is to follow the “Active Shooter Response” guide. A reminder is conveniently located next to the door of every classroom.

If possible, students are encouraged to run away from a dangerous scene. If not, hiding is the next suggestion. Fighting back is a last resort. 

“It’s about education. It’s about providing people with a baseline of information to act upon, should there be an act of aggression at any location on our campus,” Bessette said.

But that is not the only way they are keeping students safe.

“Picture a blue light emergency system on a large campus, take that blue light system and put it in someone’s hand,” Bessette said.

Within the last year, the university has given 300 key-chain size buttons to students. They are called POMs, which stands for Peace of Mind. When pushed, the POM will send a message to the campus security office who will reply within just a few seconds.

With these plans and new technology installed, students say there’s nothing worrying them on campus.

“I’d say it’s in the back of your mind but it’s not a main concern especially going here,” sophomore Garrett Ross said. 

“I feel pretty safe here," freshman Lily Leavitt said. "Campus security is really up to par and they do a pretty good job of keeping people safe."

Campus security said students are the eyes and ears of campus and that they are encouraged to report any suspicious behavior to campus police. 

Copyright 2016 WLBZ


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