Last week’s mass shooting at a community college in Oregon is sparking talks about gun control and campus security across the country.
Here in the Tri-Cities, the tragedy has inspired local colleges to take a look at their own security protocol.
“I don’t think it’s ever something that you’re not taking a look at. We’re always taking a look at that to see what improvements we can make,” said Milligan College Director of Property and Risk Management Brent Nipper.
Nipper said the first thing they look at is their crisis management plan to make sure it’s up to date.
Northeast State Dean of Student Development Greg Walters said they too review their procedures.
“We also always think about it could happen on our campuses and what programs and policies and procedures do we have,” said Walters.
One of those programs is called Safe Northeast.
“It’s just an all encompassing educational program to encourage students to be safe,” said Walters.
Northeast also requires all full and part time faculty and staff members to participate in emergency preparedness training.
“Community colleges are sometimes seen as having security officers, however here at Northeast State we have a full fledged police department,” said Walters.
Walters said the college has 8 armed officers and 16 security officers.
Nipper said the best way for students and staff members to stay prepared for emergency situations is by staying informed.
Nipper said it’s challenging to make sure everyone is prepared for every situation. But having a plan in place can make a big difference.
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