On Feb. 14, 2008 at 3:20 p.m., an alert went out to students of Northern Illinois University. “There has been a report of a possible gunman on campus.” Five people were murdered.
A situation like the one at NIU has the potential to occur at any college campus, including Central Oregon Community College.
Preventive measures are in place, but many students may not know what they are, or what
they could do in the event of a aggressive intruder.
“We don’t expect anyone to risk their life trying to defuse the situation,” said Ron Paradis, director of College Relations. Paradis said that the best response is to immediately contact police.
Although the Bend campus consists of 201 acres, all 22 buildings can be protected in the event of an emergency.
“We have the ability to lock down the entire campus without having to go building to building to do so.” said Paradis. This is done via the same system used to automatically open and close the campus. The Redmond and Prineville campuses are equipped with the same technology.
“For instance, suppose the campus opens at 10 [a.m.] and closes at 5 [p.m.],” Paradis said. “We could, in the event of an emergency, use this system to close the campus at 3:15 [p.m.].”
COCC’s policy was tested in 2006, when a nearby convenience store was robbed by a subject with a firearm. COCC locked down while Bend police investigated.
“We allowed the staff to use their own discretion as to whether they wanted to leave campus,” said Paradis.
On Nov. 16, the Emergency Notification System was tested. The ENS contacted students via text, email or phone call, informing them that it is a test, and that they will be sent to the ENS page of the COCC website to get more information in case of a real emergency.
“We run a test at least once a year,” said Paradis.
Jim Bennett, Campus Public Safety coordinator, said students should report anything that concerns them to campus security. He advised students to know the dispatch numbers and locate the ‘code blue’ towers–red towers equipped with buttons around campus that flash blue when activated.
Bennett urged students to contact the police with any emergency.
“And, of course,” Bennett added, “Be mindful of your surroundings.”
The Campus Public Safety office is located inside the Boyle Education Center.
You can contact William James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TO PARTICIPATE IN THE EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM:
1. Log into Online Services by clicking the ‘Login’ tab at the top of the COCC homepage
2. Use your student ID number and PIN to login
3. Once logged in, call up the ‘Personal’ tab and click the link marked “COCC’s Emergency Notification System (ENS)”
4. To enter or edit ENS phone numbers go to the Update Address(es) and Phone(s) page. Click “Submit” when you are done.
5. If you do not wish to participate in ENS, do not merely go to the Update Addresses and Phones page and remove your numbers.Click the ‘Opt Out’.