The latest mass shooting left ten people dead and seven more injured last Thursday at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
As mass shootings occur throughout the country, Salt Lake Community College and the Utah Highway Patrol take appropriate measures to safeguard and prepare for such emergencies.
“It is one of the concerns [President Huftalin] and her cabinet have, and we [share that concern] in law enforcement and we train for it,” says Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Jeff Willmore.
SLCC disbanded its own police force in 2003 and signed a contract with UHP. One to four highway patrol officers are stationed at Taylorsville Redwood, South City, Meadowbrook and Jordan campuses.
What happens if a shooting takes place?
Once on scene, an officer’s main concern will be to stop or contain the shooter. Officers may also call in support from other law enforcement agencies.
Response time, which can depend on a number of variables, may be as little as three minutes.
“Generally in an active shooter situation, when they encounter law enforcement the shooting usually stops,” says Lt. Willmore.
Students, faculty and staff will be warned through emergency alerts that the school is on lockdown. Anyone interested in receiving these alerts can sign up through MyPage.
What happens after the shooting stops?
Students, faculty and staff will receive another alert after an active shooter is stopped or contained. Officers will sweep the building while classes stay on lockdown.
Everyone will be evacuated after authorities sweep the building and give the all clear.
Even if there is no loss of life from a shooting, the campus will become a crime scene.
Don’t be paranoid, be alert
Students, faculty and staff are should not stress over the threat of a shooting on campus. Officers spend a lot of time to make SLCC a safe place for everyone.
“Keep this in perspective; there’s a greater chance of being struck by lightning then being killed by a active shooter,” says Lt. Willmore.
While a campus shooting is unlikely, students are encouraged to pay attention to their surroundings and report any suspicious behavior to authorities.
The sooner authorities can be notified, the sooner a possible shooter can be stopped.
“A lot of it is not just learning what to do but how to think in those situations,” says Lt. Willmore. “If we train [and] we teach the students and the faculty and ourselves how to think, we’re going to be able to make the right and correct decisions and we’re going to get though anything.”
For emergencies on campus call 911 and for non-emergency call 801-957-3800.