Local agencies explain preparedness for school attacks

Published: Nov. 28, 2016 at 8:45 PM CST
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After an attack on the campus of Ohio State University sends 10 people to the hospital, the Warren County Sheriff's Department and Western Kentucky University say they prepare the best they can for a similar situation.

Studies have shown that staying in one place during an act of campus violence shouldn't always be your first option.

"Predictions now with all the research and information that's been gathered is the more people that can get out," says Stephen Harmon of the Sheriff's Department, "the survivability of the incident is greater."

Western Kentucky University has prepared for such a situation that could put their students at risk.

They follow an initiative created by the city of Houston, TX, and it is only three words: run, hide, fight.

"In this case, we're telling people that their first priority when they hear of a gunman or some kind of violent situation going on to run," says Bob Skipper of WKU. "Get as far away from it as possible."

If running away from the situation isn't an option, then hiding the best available option. Barricade yourself from possible entry points.

"If all else fails," says Skipper, "then try to find something that you can use for a weapon because at that point it becomes him or you."

The Warren County Sheriff's Department says similar measures have been put in place to help protect Warren County students.

They've also implemented procedures such as the fast path navigation system to try to quickly put an end to the act of violence.

"The fast path navigation system is solely to decrease that response time," says Harmon. "It uses a hallway and room number system. We can pull that up easily and let the deputies know the best way and fastest way into the school."

Every situation is different. Bob Skipper says the best way to stay safe, is to pay attention.

"The best defense is awareness. If you're aware of your surroundings and know what to do when something happens, then you have a much greater chance of surviving a situation like that."

Skipper says these kind of incidents can be avoided. If you see suspicious activity like threats toward a school campus or strange items out of place, call the police and notify them immediately.