Mass shootings lead local colleges to change training focus

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – “I think Columbine changed the way police react to active shooting.”

For years local colleges have been preparing for the worst.

“Dispatch: We do have one female that has been shot at this time.”

And as gunfire on campuses across the country again, makes headlines, locally, colleges are changing their training for tragedies.

“The beginning was a response to if it occurred, now we’re focusing on how can we prevent this,” said Director of the Lansing Community College Police Department Bill French.

At LCC the police department has created a behavior intervention team to prevent violence by taking tips and monitoring students in need of mental health treatment.

“It started long before Columbine with workplace violence in that everyone seemed to know the person was gonna snap,” said French.

“So the idea is, if we know what can we do about it? How can we get them help? How can we get them counseling to mental health services.”

And police say it’s been successful, with more than 100 tips so far.

LCC is also upping their security through technology. Come the first of the year police will be able to lock any door to any building on campus with a simple push of a button.

The campus also has a police app, where students and staff can text police in case of emergency.

At Michigan State, the university is also launching a one button system alerting students and staff via text messages and sirens.

Students and staff also have the option for active shooter training, a class which has gained popularity in the past week.

“We trained yesterday as a matter of fact about fifty individuals on campus who were interested so I would say because of these mass shootings it has increased in terms of the interest of people who are wanting to make certain that they know what to do if this happened at the university,” said MSU Police Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor.

She added the police department also trains with neighboring departments on active shooter training, and have hired someone to specifically do crime analysis.

And with the skills they hope they’ll be able to save lives in the case the next gunman opens fire here.

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