How BU would deal with an active shooter

Belmont’s Campus Security would coordinate with Metro dispatch and use alerts and staff training in the scenario of an active shooter on campus.

Last night, a gunman opened fire on students in the Florida State University library, injuring three people before he was killed by police. Campus Security would respond to this situation by first securing the location while coordinating with Nashville’s emergency response services as they arrive on scene, Chief of Campus Security Pat Cunningham said.

“The first officer on the scene would establish command which would then coordinate everything from identifying the entry point and which officers would make entry, to establishing an inner perimeter, an outer perimeter and securing access/egress points for other responders,” Cunningham said in a statement to the Vision.

Belmont uses an alert system which sends students updates through text and email. Students would receive alerts if there were even reports of a shooter near campus, Coordinator of Security Programs Kayla Jerome said.

“We would give whatever information we know in the alerts and tell students to keep up with updates,” Jerome said.

In some cases, students and professors might not have their phones or computers out in class. To remedy this problem, Belmont is planning to install intercom systems in all buildings and to have desktop pop-up alerts for professors in classrooms, said April Khoury.

Khoury is administrator for the Office of Risk Management and Compliance, which works closely with Campus Security and the Office of Communications to improve the existing alert systems and to develop what she called “additional levels of alert notifications.”

Besides the intercoms and pop-ups, Khoury said her office implemented its new building coordinator program on Nov. 5. Building coordinators carry backpacks containing floor plans, rosters, campus maps and quick references for different safety procedures.

Each building is assigned at least one coordinator. Some of the larger buildings like the Wedgewood Academic Center will have one coordinator stationed on each floor.

“They’re an extra eyes and ears for campus security and risk management,” Khoury said.

Staff and Resident Assistants go through training on how to handle situations, ranging from fire and tornadoes to a shooter on campus. For active shooters in particular, RA’s and staff are trained to lock all doors to buildings and classrooms, and to instruct students what to do during a lockdown, Jerome said.

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