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“I’ll catch up to you later.”
You wave your classmate Kim off as you split off the pathway to another friend’s dormitory.
“I’ll see you tonight in the Library,” she responds.
You’ve just finished accounting class, but need to go over notes for your history class before heading to the library this evening.
You see the dormitory in the distance. As you put your accounting book into your bag, your phone rings.
It’s your mom.
“How are you, son?”
“I know it’s only been a week since we dropped you off, but I miss you and want to make sure you’re safe,” she tells you.
You can hear her swallow. She’s holding back the tears because she misses you so much.
“I’m fine, mom,” you gently respond as you walk up to the dormitory. Your mom always calls you at the worst times. Well, at least you think so.
“I have to go study. I’ll call you later,” you assert.
“I love you,” she responds as you click end on your phone.
But, as you make your first step, you’re unexpectedly harassed by someone standing on an apartment balcony.
The individual pulls a gun and fires several times.
Did poor security policies lead to this event? What about the campus’s lack of security presence?
Keep reading; we believe that employing Proactive Operations helps schools increase safety, reduce violent crimes, and provide their students with peace of mind.
CampusSafety recently wrote an article entitled “Morgan State to Pay Victim of Campus Shooting $900K” that addresses a previous Morgan State University shooting incident from 2012.
First, the article describes the event where “a former Morgan State University student that was shot in 2012 was awarded $900,000 after the student argued in court that the campus was not a safe environment.”
According to the article, “Tyrell K. Okoro, 23, was awarded $823,869 for non-economic damages and $76,131 for medical expenses by a Baltimore jury on Sept. 7.”
CampusSafety’s article continues to describe that, “Okoro’s complaint argued that the university and its police officers ‘should have known that its failure to properly address violent crime on its campus had created an environment that would subject its students, including Okoro, to an unreasonable risk that they would become the victim of violent crime.”
But, what got our attention and led us to share our insight on safety was this statement made by a Morgan State spokesperson who said: “that the university is continuing an ‘exhaustive review of its security/guest accountability policies.”
Reviewing guest and security policies, regardless of your property type, is vital to ensuring the safety of the people that frequent or live on your property.
Employing Proactive Operations in any capacity helps your campus introduce an efficient methodology for accomplishing your efforts.
It’s important to understand that Proactive Operations is efficient at all levels.
You must integrate this methodology into your operation whether you’re running an 80,000-seat sports stadium or a medium-sized college campus.
Why? Because you want to ensure nothing slips through the cracks.
The CampusSafety article notes how Okoro argues that the campus created an environment that subjected students to unreasonable risk.
You can avoid this.
Create an environment from proactive safety and security measures.
That way, if something were to occur, not only would your staff handle it efficiently, but students, their parents, and other faculty know that everything is handled professionally.
We get it; things will happen. But, if you’re proactive rather than reactive – you reduce risk and increase safety.
Proactive measures may even lower your exposure to liability. Remember $823,869 was awarded for non-economic damages. Damages that were assessed as a direct result of a failure to properly address violent crime on its campus.
Proactive Operations acts as a deterrent to violence and a well-organized methodology for managing situations. It makes your campus look good too.
Now, do you see why your campus needs a proactive mindset?
Safety and security are vital across your campus.
Use strategy, infrastructure, and technology to produce the safer environment Morgan State University was missing in 2012.
But, don’t get overwhelmed. You have a solution: Proactive Operations.
We’re sure your campus has safety policies.
These are only a few of the questions you must ask. Have you ever asked any of these?
At this stage, you must dive into the ACDA Principle™ to address the significant weaknesses in your campus operation and its policies. Learn about the ACDA Principle™ in this article here.
In the case of Morgan State, we’d argue – even with limited facts – that on-campus Awareness was low at the time of this incident.
Do you agree?
More security officers and safety personnel present on campus works as a deterrent to violent crimes.
We’re not saying that a greater presence would have eliminated the threat. We’re saying the chances are higher, along with the ability to mitigate it.
We challenge you to read the referenced article above on the Principle to uncover the flaws in your strategy.
Then, revise your operational infrastructure once you’re confident and ready.
A breakdown in efficiency is a symptom of disjointed infrastructure.
How well-organized is your campus’s infrastructure? Is there a designated emergency command center? Does it have direct communication with campus police and local authorities?
The bottom line is, who is talking to who when something happens, and how is this getting accomplished in the best possible way?
You need to have an infrastructure for a unified flow of information.
This practice will allow you to maximize performance.
Now, you’ll have:
Your infrastructure limits the impact of minor and severe incidents on your campus. It also positively increases your impact on safety.
You don’t have time to waste. So, we’re not going to waste it.
Here’s why you need technology to ensure proactivity – and success.
A student witnesses an altercation between a student and a non-student visitor.
Your campus utilizes text communication to increase awareness using the thousands of eyes across the property.
The witness sends a text to your emergency command. Your command receives the text message and forwards to the incident management system for dispatch.
An increased security presence allows for a proactive response. Nearby security personnel receives the incident details on their incident management mobile apps.
They respond and record pertinent details before the incident escalated. They mitigated the situation with ease.
Here’s the thing; progressive technology lets your campus de-escalate incidents before they turn into severe incidents.
What would’ve been the outcome of this incident on your campus? Would your staff have responded before one of the associated persons pulled a knife?
Can you afford to waste them?
Exposing your campus to an incident similar to Morgan State University should not be the impetus for integrating Proactive Operations into your campus operation.
Take the steps now to implement a methodology that creates an environment where there’s no question whether your students and staff are safe.