Florida Atlantic U. Shooting Incident:Expect the Best,Prepare For the Worst


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Winchester 73
May 2, 2008, 06:46 PM
For The Miami Herald,a fairly balanced editorial on how to prepare for a Virginia Tech scenario.Of course ,concealed carry by eligible students and faculty is not in the discussion.

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/story/517940.html

Expect the best, prepare for the worst
OUR OPINION: SHOOTING RESPONSE A GOOD SIGN FAU IS ON RIGHT TRACK
Posted on Fri, May. 02, 2008
It is a sign of our violent times in a linked-up world. A man with a gun fires off two shots at an early-morning party in Boca Raton and sets in motion a series of events that result in a 12-hour shutdown of Florida Atlantic University. In the end, no one was seriously injured, police took a suspect into custody, and FAU learned valuable lessons about its ability to handle a life-threatening emergency. It gets passing grades.

`Chill up your spine'

FAU President Frank Brogan adroitly summed up the situation: 'When you're the president of a university these days and you hear your chief of police use the words `gun' and 'shooting' and 'campus,' it sends a chill up your spine.''

It just so happened that FAU was in the final stages of testing its new emergency-notification system and procedures. So the final test became an actual live event. Within a half-hour of the 1:15 a.m. incident, notification of a crisis was being sent out via e-mail messages, sirens, audio alerts and text messages. This alerted everybody on campus to seek shelter and safety, and all others to steer clear of the campus.

The execution was not flawless -- some people were confused by the sirens; others didn't get immediate the e-mail -- but it was good enough to let President Brogan and FAU know that they are on the right track.

The worst campus massacre in U.S. history happened on April 16, 2007, when a gunman on the Virginia Tech campus methodically slaughtered 32 people before taking his own life. The long sequence of that event -- two hours passed between the time the suspect shot the first and last victims -- was persuasive evidence that universities could do a lot better job of warning their students and faculty when a danger exists. Virginia Tech was roundly criticized for not moving quickly enough and not taking full advantage of technology.

The criticism hit home. Consequently, schools countrywide, including in Florida, have been ramping up high-tech, emergency-notification systems. Gov. Charlie Crist created a task force to study emergency response at Florida colleges and universities.

Text messages

For all that schools do, they still need the cooperation and support of students and staff. Unfortunately, many students have been reluctant to register for text messages sent during emergencies to their cellphones. No doubt many of them believe that campus shootings are things that happen to other people -- but not to them.

As crises go, the incident at FAU was relatively minor. However, FAU can use the experience as assurance that it is on the right course. As for other Florida schools, they should use the episode as an object lesson in how to prepare for the unthinkable.

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Coyote Blue
May 2, 2008, 08:39 PM
Not bad for America's most anti-gun newspaper.No anti -gun comment.
Maybe a shake up in the editorial department.

lacoochee
May 2, 2008, 08:44 PM
Within a half-hour of the 1:15 a.m. incident, notification of a crisis was being sent out via e-mail messages, sirens, audio alerts and text messages. This alerted everybody on campus to seek shelter and safety, and all others to steer clear of the campus.

Wow, that is efficiency 30 minutes for a warning to start going out. Blindingly fast, the shooter probably only had enough time to SMOKE AN ENTIRE PACK OF CIGARETTES before and after shooting 40 or 50 unarmed people at the student union building or dorm room party. :barf:

larry_minn
May 2, 2008, 10:08 PM
So a planned exersize took only half a hr to get (likely) pre-written e-mails in a group e-mail out.

I must admit if I was taking classes I might consider if my life is worth more then campus policy.... Esp if not violation of state law.

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