Training Planned to Improve Campus Security
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has ordered the state’s 29 public colleges to assess their emergency response plans and security practices in response to the Virginia Tech shooting rampage on April 16.
Local and state government and law enforcement officials met privately to discuss ways to improve security on Massachusetts campuses and prepare for emergencies. To that end, the Boston Police Department announced that it will train local college security teams on how to react to school shootings, though this training will take different forms, depending on whether campus security forces are armed or unarmed.
Armed security forces will receive training on SWAT techniques, while unarmed security guards will mostly be trained on how to quickly call for police help and how to work with responding officers.
Officials have also discussed the use of emergency communications technology to alert students about school shootings, including an initiative aimed at connecting campuses to a police radio network used by Boston law enforcement.
A heavy emphasis is also being placed on preventing shootings by paying more attention to the red flags and danger signs that could indicate a student is about to become violent.
A spokesman for the University of Massachusetts at Boston said that the Virginia Tech shooting underscores the unpredictable nature of events that university security efforts must be prepared for–and that there is always room for improvement, more cooperation, more thoroughness, and greater adaptability.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Boston Globe (04/18/07); Smalley, Suzanne.