Traverse City Police, NMC talk security following deadly CMU shooting
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- In wake of the shooting at Central Michigan University, campus safety and security is on the minds of many across the state.
While Northwestern Michigan College isn't as large as Central Michigan University, there are still several challenges they face if there were an emergency situation on campus, which is why they work closely with the Traverse City Police Department to be ready.
“We're going to make sure that we protect all those people on that campus,” said TCPD Chief Jeff O’Brien.
The Traverse City Police Department would be first on scene if a shooting occurred on the campus of NMC.
While it's something they hope never happens, they host an active shooter training every year.
“Which is a hands-on drill, fake ammunition with sounds, all the good stuff and the campus goes on lockdown so it's a really good drill,” said O’Brien.
O'Brien says the college has some challenges, since there are multiple buildings, it would require extra personnel to respond.
While the security team at NMC talks with each department about the different protocol they're responsible for following.
“Since every building is laid out a little bit differently and that way they can talk about different scenarios within the context of their building,” said NMC VP of Finance and Administration Vicki Cook.
They've also gone through security upgrades within the last year, improving camera systems and external locks across campus.
“We've done improvements to classrooms so that a faculty member or student can lock the door from the classroom,” said Cook. “We have put blinds up and those types of security measures.”
O'Brien says these are difficult situations, because it's hard to isolate someone who is willing to do this sort of crime.
“It's tough for law enforcement to gather the intelligence,” said O’Brien. “That's been the hype across the United States, ‘Why doesn't law enforcement take their guns? Why don't they do this?’ Unfortunately, or fortunately, people are protected by the constitution and we’re limited in our scope of power.”
NMC says if there were an emergency situation on campus a text alert or call would go out to all their students and staff.
To make sure they won't have problems communicating, they test that system every month.
NMC says they review all of their security procedures every couple of months.