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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

How does campus safety prepare for potential mass shootings?

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The campus safety building is located next to the 500 building or alongside North Lemon Street. Photo credit: Edwin Flores

An annual campus shooting drill is conducted in junction with the Fullerton Police Department sometime during the spring semester, according to the director of campus safety, Steve Selby.

In the drill, campus safety officers engage in a campus-wide lockdown. Meanwhile, the Fullerton Police Department is contacted and is tasked in neutralizing a potential “suspect.” The drill usually occurs late in the afternoon when there aren’t many students present on campus.

However, in the event of an actual mass shooting on campus, campus safety will notify the Fullerton Police Department about the situation. The Fullerton Police Department will then request help from all other local police departments, said Selby.

All police departments would engage towards Fullerton College. Once here, they will be given a 911 box that consists of information on the entire school, along with keys to every building. The entire campus would ensue in a lockdown until the shooter is neutralized.

The 911 box was suggested at an out-brief Selby attended. “We created one so that time delay is reduced.”

Yet, the 911 box isn’t the only upgrade campus safety has made.

Three years ago, campus safety implemented the one command system. The system locks all electric doors on campus with a push of a button. Selby stated it has worked “flawlessly” and they will continue to update electric locks.

Some may argue that shooting drills aren’t effective because active shooter situations are unpredictable.

However, Selby shared the story of how campus safety at Santa Monica College practiced a shooting drill a week before an actual mass shooting occurred. He explained that faculty at the service desk inside the library saw the shooter approaching them and they managed to escape with their lives by following the shooting drill protocols.

Furthermore, Selby reassures that Fullerton College’s campus is being monitored constantly.

He explained that three rotations of safety officers patrol the campus daily. Two officers accompanied by a supervisor patrol the campus during the early morning. During the day three officers and a supervisor will monitor the campus. At night, another set of three officers and a supervisor watch the campus.

Even though the campus is being monitored persistently, some students have mixed feelings about their safety.

Nancy Ramos, 22, said “Anyone can walk onto campus and do something similar to the Las Vegas shooting.”

On the other hand, 22-year-old Jessica Hernandez said “I do feel safe here. I don’t think about those things when I’m here like something might happen or I might be in danger,” said the psychology major. “I always see [campus safety officers] around, I think they’re doing a good job.”

Selby indicated that campus safety provides faculty with valuable safety information to share with students.

Students are recommended to report any suspicious behavior to faculty or campus safety.

“We’re close to students and faculty. It would be a tragedy to lose anyone on this campus,” said Selby.

For more information, please visit the campus safety website or email them at [email protected].