Local colleges prepare for crisis

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Area college and university officials said they feel safe and well prepared in light of the tragic shooting rampage that occurred on the campus of Virginia Polytechnical Institute yesterday killing at least 32 people.

The University of West Alabama in Livingston is working on preparation for a crisis situation as well.

Because of the small size of the area campuses, school officials and area law enforcement said the probability of an occurrence on par with the events at Virginia Tech are highly unlikely.

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Ogden agreed with Manuel&8217;s sentiments. He said, &8220;I&8217;ve been on large campuses and on small campuses. On campuses like ours, we know the majority of our students, so if someone unfamiliar is there we generally go up and introduce ourselves.&8221;

Ogden said that the location of the campus is also a helpful crime-determent factor. &8220;We are pretty isolated here,&8221; he said. &8220;And the fact that we are not a residential campus affects the unlikelihood of something of that magnitude happening here.&8221;

In the case of an emergency situation, Ogden said the college has a 911 alert they can send to the local police to notify them of the crisis situation.

In the event of a crisis, Manuel said the police department is prepared to handle the situation in the most efficient manner.

If a situation were to occur such as that of Virginia Tech, Manuel said an active shooter protocol would be used.

Manuel said the same type of crisis management would be used with all area schools in the event of a crisis. He said all local schools have an alert system in place and are protected by the system.