On Tuesday, a student at Purdue University was killed when authorities say a gunman walked onto campus. This is just the latest in a string of campus shootings on middle, high school, and college campuses.
UOPD says they’ve been training their staff for active shooter scenarios since the shooting at Thurston High School in 1998. They reassess their techniques every time a new incident occurs, and are always fine-tuning their plans, to keep the campus safe.
In fall of 2013, UOPD officers began carrying firearms, which they say has made them even more prepared.
“You want to be able to intervene as quickly as possible, not just set up a perimeter and wait for a swat team to assemble and come in,” says Kelly McIver, Communications Director for UOPD. “So, certainly being able to respond quickly on campus and appropriately, being armed is something that’s of benefit to us.”
UOPD says in an active shooter situation the Eugene Police Department and other surrounding agencies would also respond, but having an armed police force located on campus, makes a big difference when trying to alleviate the situation quickly. McIver says they also focus on threat assessment and prevention, stressing to students the importance of reporting all potentially violent threats.