Shootings spur UC to assess security policies


Shootings spur UC to assess security policies


By Blair Socci
Thursday, April 19, 2007

In the aftermath of the shootings that occurred at Virginia Tech earlier this week, the University of California is now re-evaluating its own security policies.

Authorities have been quick to assure the UCLA community that they are doing everything they can to assess current security measures, as well as to actively continue to seek out ways to improve safety.

"What happened at Virginia Tech is a reminder that nobody is immune from violence and that we all need to remain vigilant in order to protect ourselves and our institution," UCLA spokesman Phil Hampton said.

"In light of what has happened at Virginia Tech, this campus, as well as other UC campuses, will be solidifying (its) security policies."

In the coming days and weeks, the university plans to review its policies and continue to examine new information that becomes available, UC President Robert Dynes said in a statement Monday.

"As we learn more about the specific circumstances of the Virginia Tech shootings, we will apply those lessons as well," he said in the statement.

At UCLA, authorities are currently devising new ways to improve mediums of response to emergencies and communication with the community, as well as providing care for people following any major incident.

Some new methods being reviewed include notifying students personally on cell phones either by sending text messages or making phone calls, Hampton said.

Another area that is being reviewed is the university's psychological services.

"We are also giving increased attention to student psychological support services and have begun phasing additional funding for these programs," Dynes said in his statement.

But UCLA officials emphasized that the university already has various ways of dealing with an emergency.

"The university has in place measures to guide us in case of an emergency," Hampton said.

He said UCLA has regular training sessions in which they practice how to respond to and communicate during an emergency, as well as electronic means of notifying the community.

"We have emergency mass e-mail, Web sites such as Gateway and MyUCLA that we can update, recorded telephone information and the campus radio station, which has recently been changed to 24-hour availability," Hampton said.

University police also currently received training on how to respond to an emergency, said Nancy Greenstein, director of police community services for UCPD.

"Our officers are highly trained individuals," she said.

This training includes drills, special emergency-response shooter training and regular briefings educating officers on new security policies and discussion of current security methods.

UCPD also uses a system called "active shooter training," which Greenstein said is based on real-life situations such as the shooting at Virginia Tech.

"We want to be able to determine the cause and have an immediate response," she said.

Greenstein said the state mandates law enforcement be involved in training every week and diligently prepare for all types of emergencies.

She added that UCPD is hoping to learn from the Virginia Tech shooting, noting that as it is only a few days after the fact, changes will likely be made in the upcoming weeks when more information is available.

A vigil co-sponsored by the Undergraduate Students Association Council Office of the President and the Office of Residential Life is planned for 8 p.m. in De Neve Plaza to give students an opportunity to express their condolences for the victims and their families, said Jesse Rogel, chief of staff at the USAC Office of the President.


Original Source:<a href=>The Daily Bruin - April 29, 2007</a>


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Blair Socci , “Shootings spur UC to assess security policies,” The April 16 Archive, accessed July 16, 2024,