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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Campus

UHPD responds to growing concerns regarding school shootings


UHPD has taken proactive steps both to inform campus and stay ready in the event of an active shooter scenario. | File Photo/The Daily Cougar

The University of Houston Police Department sent out an email reminder Tuesday through the campus-wide alert system to update students and faculty on its ongoing active shooter response training.

The email provided context on how UHPD plans to prepare for potential threats on campus to ease worries in light of increased attention to school shooter events around the country.

“These are things still in the planning stages; it’s a proposal,” said Brett Collier, UHPD’s chief of staff. “We want to be able to give staff and faculty information that they can refer to when a situation does happen, and we want to enhance how we get communications out to the public.”

Last week, the University received reports from concerned students about troubling posts on social media from a former student. Although UHPD released a statement saying that there was no threat to campus, students who saw the posts had different reactions to the most recent email detailing resources for active shooter preparedness.

“They kind of dismissed it,” said Alba Cruz, a liberal studies senior. “How is it that I didn’t hear about it beforehand?”

Some students believe the department has the responsibility to do more to keep the campus informed, while others, like creative writing junior Aubrey Cowley, commend UHPD’s actions.

“It’s hard to know if it’s the final answer,” said Cowley. “It feels like things are unresolved, but they’ve done a good job at communicating with the student population.”

UHPD plans to implement additional measures to improve campus safety and has laid out all of their active shooter resources on the department website. They also provided a schedule for a program called Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events, which is open to students, faculty and the public.

Corporate communications senior Ashley Cazarez said the events of last week underline a need for information to be provided quickly, especially if students can take actions to protect themselves or others.

“Nothing should ever be taken lightly when it comes to others’ safety,” said Cazarez. “The matter should be taken care of immediately, regardless of the amount of detail.”

UHPD asked for those who have questions regarding active shooter preparations to contact them here.

[email protected]

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