Behind the wheel; 13 News rides along as WKU Police discuss campus safety

Published: May. 1, 2019 at 4:57 PM CDT
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Police at Western Kentucky University gave 13 News a closer look at campus safety following a shooting that happened Tuesday at the University of North Carolina Charlotte.

For more than ten years, Western Kentucky University Police Captain John Bailey has patrolled campus keeping students, faculty, and staff safe.

"I'd say at any given time during a week you could have around 15,000 individuals on campus," said Bailey. "We are out there, we're being vigilant, we've got our resources out there."

Bailey said WKU Police are prepared for worst knowing it can happen anywhere.

Tuesday's shooting at UNCC killed two and injured four others.

"It's a sad day when you have innocent souls that are being harmed in such fashions for no reason," said Bailey.

In recent years WKU Police took a closer look at how safe campus is.

First, by examining what they can do to make sure the campus is secure.

"It's pretty much an open canvas, which means that we can have people from the general public coming in and out of campus at any given time, which makes it kind of difficult," said Bailey.

He said police are utilizing cameras to monitor campus and having blue light emergency phones around campus help police get those who feel in danger.

Secondly, police re-vamped their safety training, opening it up to those in the campus community.

"One of the things that we have done as a university is we've held over, just this year alone, 50 different classes pertaining to campus violence or active shooter or active threats of aggression," said Bailey.

Bailey said in an active shooter situation you have three options run, hide, or fight.

To safely run, police advise you know an escape route for whatever building you are in and to always leave your belongings behind.

To safely hide police advise you hide in an area out of the shooter's view and lock the door or block the entry of where you are hiding.

Bailey said fight should be a last resort, but suggested to incapacitate the shooter or find objects you could throw at the shooter.

To date, WKU Police have taught more than 500 people at WKU how to be prepared for any scenario.

"If something were to happen we are going to be there for our community and we're going to do our best to make sure that hopefully, they go home safe at the end of the day," said Bailey.

In addition to the training those on campus, WKU Police use a text alert system to send a message about safety concerns.