Threat training: how colleges prepare for the worst case scenario

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Just six weeks into the year and there have been more than 70 mass shootings.

Just recently, three students were killed and five others were injured during a mass shooting on the Michigan State Campus.

It is something that no family member, friend, or school ever wants to go through.

Campus law enforcement and emergency management teams at The W talk about the reality of preparing for this type of event.

An active shooter would be considered one of the most severe events a college campus could face.

The reality is, it’s something that campuses across the nation have to prepare for.

A student at MUW said the possibility of a shooter is something that is always in the back of his mind.

Jessie Durrah is a sophmore at MUW.

He said fearing for his safety is something no one should have to think about when heading to class.

“Being a college student on campus you expect to be comfortable. You want to walk around comfortably without there potentially being a shooting going on or just anything in regards to safety,” said Durrah.

MUW police Chief Randy Vibrock said his department should always be prepared for the worst possible event.

“What it does really instills in me that we can’t become complacent as a department or university in our response. I know that active shooter incidents like this don’t happen often but the reality is they can so we need to prepare in the event that they do,” said Vibrock.

Vibrock said his department is trained to respond to an active shooter by immediately taking out the threat.

In the case of an active shooter event on campus, the community response is to avoid, deny, and defend, until the lockdown has been lifted.

Emergency Management and Chief Information Officer, Carla Lowery said staff and students do several drills throughout the year to prepare.

“We have a campus emergency management plan that has to be reviewed annually and that plan addresses all of the different aspects of the different types of incidences.. that we would have to address,” said Lowery.

And, being aware of how the outside world can run right through campus.

“We have tracks that go directly through campus so you always have to keep that in mind,” said Vibrock.

Awareness. Emergency plans and drills. And, preparation. All work together to keep students like Jessie Durrah and others safe.

Being a smaller campus MUW has backup from local law enforcement and emergency teams if there ever was a threat to students and staff.

They also encourage people to sign up for W-ALERT to stay updated in the case of an emergency.

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