School Shootings Show Renewed Demand for Campus Security Training

The Virginia Tech rampage left schools with no choice but to enhance safety protocol, yet more recent shootings show campus security is a never-ending endeavor.

Campus security professionals argue most college campuses and universities are better equipped to respond to active shooters and other threats in the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre. Although many improvements were made to establish safer schools, two more shootings show the demand for better security campus training and foolproof mass notification systems still exists.

The shootings at an Ohio high school and Oakland’s Oikos University killed a total of ten students collectively. Each loss of life is a harsh reminder that there are still many strides to take. Among the tragic lessons learned in Blacksburg, VA five years ago, we saw that universities can and will be held accountable for their inaction and ill-prepared responses. Two separate families who lost loved ones during the VT attack accused the university of negligence and received $4 million each in the lawsuit that was finalized last month.

School security experts like Kenneth Trump, president of consulting firm National School Safety and Security Services in Ohio, cites numerous impacts April 16, 2007 had on campus security. While more schools are participating in lockdown drills, active shooter exercises and mandating that students sign up for safety alerts, Trump also notes that ‘more’ isn’t everyone. And he says the majority of preK-12 schools have not made these necessary steps. But, schools armed with security guard training are much closer to creating secure campuses and responding quickly and confidently when needed.

University and school administrators cannot ignore the dire need for security guards to go through college security training on a regular basis. In the aftermath of Virginia Tech’s darkest day, curriculums for advanced university security training were offered online to encourage widespread use. Besides implementing disaster plans and violence prevention, security officers must be able to identify risk situations involving alcohol, drugs, etc. Minor problems in dorms and student centers can escalate quickly without a skilled security team to control the situation.

Not to mention, having a safer campus means happier parents and higher enrollment. College Parents of America—a parent resource to help with preparation and transitions—advises parents to ask about campus security and safety protocols right off the bat. If a college can’t provide a thorough, satisfying answer, you better believe Mom and Dad won’t support that choice.

Before you can shape the leaders of tomorrow and enlighten them with higher education, you must be able to protect them. How would you better protect college campuses?

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