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Public Safety Reiterates AU Lockdown Protocol After Recent MSU Tragedy

By Joanna Reid


On Feb. 13, five students were injured and three students were killed due to an active shooting at Michigan State University (MSU). Gun violence is a constant issue in the U.S. and too often our schools are targeted, leading to what is becoming a too common tragedy. It’s understandable that college students are concerned about active shootings, but Adelphi has many measures in place to protect students and staff.


The day after the MSU shooting, on Feb. 14, both President Christine Riordan and Adelphi’s Department of Public Safety and Transportation sent out schoolwide emails to discuss the matter. “Our highly trained Department of Public Safety regularly completes extensive emergency preparedness exercises. In light of this latest incident, I have asked our Public Safety team to increase patrols and expedite the additional active shooter training planned for our community this year,” Riordan stated.


Public Safety listed several resources to help those prepare in the case of a lockdown. The email included steps to take when a shelter in place and lockdown occurs, an instructional video on how to lock all the doors that can be found on campus, and where to find and how to use the “Stop the Bleed” kits found on campus in case of an emergency. All of these resources can also be found on the Adelphi University website.


Additionally Public Safety listed the practices they already have in place to prevent dangerous incidents from occurring. The team noted, “Adelphi was one of the first institutions of higher education to establish a dedicated team for monitoring and addressing reported safety concerns.”


The Delphian reached out to Raymond Hughes, chief of campus safety and emergency management, to learn of additional safety measures. Hughes stated, “Since the MSU shooting, we have increased our patrols across campus. Our department is also expediting the active shooter/hostile intruder training planned for our community this year.”


Furthermore, Hughes mentioned that Adelphi has over 600 cameras to monitor campus, 46 public emergency call boxes, plus over 360 panic alarms, 200 red emergency phones that are available to anyone, and “30 officers with a wealth of knowledge, extensive training (including training in behavior observations and suspicious activity recognition) and law enforcement background (such as FBI, counter-terrorism, homeland security, detective/investigations…who provide 24/7 patrol of the entire campus.”


Hughes said that Adelphi was the first university on Long Island—and among the first in the country—to establish a coordinated Threat Assessment/Behavior Intervention Team (BIT) following the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting and Congressional recommendations that came in the aftermath. “At the time, the tragedy highlighted the importance of timely, accurate and effective communication during a campus emergency. It was determined that people may have had information about the shooter that could have prevented the incident, but no one connected the dots or had a mechanism to report information to the authorities,” Hughes said.


BIT offers a caring and helpful platform for discussion of safety and concerns of our campus community. The team is a campus-wide group that responds to reports from the campus community regarding concerning, disruptive or threatening behaviors by students, employees and others that can lead to potential or actual serious safety issues. It is guided by “See Something, Say Something, Do Something.”


Hughes also said that there are steps Adelphi students can take to help enhance safety for themselves and our campus. These include signing up for RAVE alerts to be notified of emergencies that may impact campus. Public Safety said they test this system at least once a year along with their Emergency Preparedness Plan.


In addition, Hughes recommends: familiarizing yourself with our hostile intruder, door locking and lockdown/shelter-in-place training or requesting a training for your campus group; learning and following these general, but important, safety tips; knowing our off-campus safe spaces in the Garden City area.


“And perhaps most importantly, report suspicious or troubling behavior without hesitation. The BIT website shares guidance about reporting, behaviors that warrant reporting, and confidentiality guidelines,” he said.


The BIT allows any member of the Adelphi community to fill out a referral to inform Public Safety if someone or something is making them feel unsafe. This referral can be sent in anonymously as well. However, if there is an emergency Public Safety always suggests one to call the office immediately at 516-877-3500.


Adelphi’s Public Safety team continues to work closely with several police departments in Nassau County and other nearby areas. “While no one can guarantee that an incident will not happen, we can guarantee that we will be prepared,” said Hughes. “Additionally, we take all reports seriously and appreciate inquiries and feedback so that our team can continue to improve and address the community’s concerns.”


Hughes added that “U.S. News & World Report” has named Nassau County the safest county in America. “And, even though Adelphi University continues to be among the safest campuses in the country, we continue our cooperative and coordinated efforts with the campus, local, and state first responders to plan and train for emergency situations, which we believe contributes to our excellent record of safety,” Hughes added.

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