Western Kentucky University takes extra security measures

Thousands of people travel around Western Kentucky University's campus on a daily basis. One of the main goals of the university is to keep the students, faculty and visitors safe. One the challenges WKU faces though is how to keep the campus open, while making it secure at the same time.

"This is a busy place during the day," Dr. Gene Tice, the Vice President of Student Affairs. He speaks of WKU which has over 18,000 students in attendance.

To help ensure security the school has several different measures in place. There are a number of security cameras that are on 24/7.

"These cameras can be controlled and monitored from the police department itself," Tice said.

The police department's dispatchers can move the cameras in order to see an area better.

There are over 60 emergency phones around campus and all doors to the dorms are also locked as a security precaution, so if you're not a resident you can't get in without the front desk knowing.

"You must pass a desk which is right at the entrance of the building and you must show your ID so they can verify that you're a resident of the building," Tice said.

The university also has the ability to mass email the entire student body and staff in an emergency situation.

"The problem is the information is coming in so rapidly and changing so rapidly, trying to keep everybody up-to-date with the latest information is a real challenge," Tice said.

Those with WKU pay close attention to school shootings like Columbine and Virginia Tech in order to learn from them and how WKU's current security measures can improve and possibly be changed.

"This changes everything. You know we're going to review, think about what we do, but at the same time we've got to decide how we keep an open environment, how we make everyone safe, feel safe and how we deal with something like this," Tice said.

Those with the university also tell the faculty and the students if they see anything suspicious to alert WKU's Police Department.

To see a comparrison map of Virginia Tech and WKU and how far the gunman went within the two-hour period of time, click here.

Do you feel affected by the mass shootings at Virginia Tech? For tips on how schools, parents and kids can cope with the after-effects of the shooting, click here.