Safety program to review plans for shootings

Safety+program+to+review+plans+for+shootings

Viktoria Muench | News Editor
Published [Oct.20, 2015] | Legacy

Reports on tragic school shootings and other campus crimes have been more apparent in the media recently. With the introduction of the Dorm Watch Program, Lindenwood’s Public Safety and Security Office will talk to students this month to discuss and practice safety procedures in case of active shooters.

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Graphic by Kelby Lorenz

Lindenwood does not have a gated campus and most campus facilities are open to visitors. According to Director of Security John Bowman, the chances for incidents to happen on campus are always there, despite the work all security officers do to keep the community safe.

Bowman said his team is always alert, but he urges the student population and visitors to keep their eyes open as well.

“They are the ones to see or hear something before we will,” he said. “We encourage everyone on campus to be more vigilant. If they know someone that is going through something or posts comments on social media, we need them to let us know so that we can review it and see if this person is a threat or not.”

Unlike fire drills, Lindenwood does not have drills for the case of an active shooter on campus.

Bowman said that this is why they introduced a special program last year to educate students on safety in different types of life-threatening scenarios.

“We have security officers go into the buildings to meet with the residents and go over crime statistics and tips to keep them safe in case of an active shooter,” Bowman said.

After the program started last year, security has worked on enhancing it with presentations held three times per semester.

Bowman said that videos and resources are made available to faculty to prepare them for certain situations.

Additionally, there is an annual exercise to go over different events that could happen and to see how the emergency operations would respond.

While taking precautions for emergency situations, Bowman said that Lindenwood is still a very safe campus.

“We don’t have a lot of violent crimes and our burglary rates went way down. Once you start reinforcing safety issues you are able to do it without thinking, so I think we are very safe here,” said Bowman.