By Mikala Lindhardt
Public safety officials at Utah State University met with employees on Wednesday to discuss what to do if someone was shooting at people on campus.
The meeting came in response to increased requests for training in the wake of the Oct. 1 shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College.
Utah State emergency management coordinator Judy Crockett said there has been an ongoing push to provide the Workplace Violence Training workshop to everyone on campus about how to respond to an “active shooter” situation, but the need really “comes to light when there is a shooting.”
“With this shooting in Oregon, it really pushed the training to be active again,” Crockett said. “These trainings are not mandatory and someday I would like to see them be mandatory, but we have a good portion of the university that does this training.”
Crockett facilitated the Wednesday session alongside Capt. Steve Milne of the Utah State University Police Department.
The 8 a.m. employee training featured a 20 minute video about what to do in the event of an active shooter, as well as a discussion centered on three main concepts — run, hide and fight.
“We can’t tell you what to do because you are the one in the situation,” Crockett said. “You’re the one that’s going to have to make the decision, but we feel like we can give you knowledge as a tool to help you make the decision.”
In the event that someone comes onto campus and begins shooting, Utah State has technology set up to send out an emergency email to warn students and employees on campus.
“I can have people informed with four clicks of the mouse on my computer,” Crockett said.
But Milne would rather never have to send out such a message.
“One of the things we really try to do is to be proactive,” he said. “We don’t want to do all this training when it happens; we would like to prevent it from happening.”
That’s why students, professors and employees can submit a “student of concern” form to USU if they feel threatened. That form will go to the Utah State Behavioral Intervention Team to proceed with further action.
“They take a look what happened with a complaint and decide from there,” Crockett said.
More information on what to do in response to a person who is shooting or brandishing a weapon on campus is available on the USU Department of Public Safety website.