Reactions to Virginia Tech keeps safety issue priority

Ken Kennedy - Director of Public Safety

Ken Kennedy – Director of Public Safety

Ken Kennedy

We at Missouri Southern are truly saddened by the tragic event that occurred at Virginia Tech University on Monday. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those families affected by the senseless killings that have brought sorrow to the hearts of everyone.

Since this atrocity, many in the media and others have expressed their concern about what would happen if “someone tried that here.” MSSU has plans in place to deal with emergency situations and systems exist to deal with the aftermath of such an occurrence. The question frequently asked is, “Are we doing anything to prevent someone from bringing a weapon onto campus.” The answer is yes. At every entrance onto campus one will read, “The possession of all firearms and other weapons – concealed or otherwise – on these premises is strictly prohibited.” This applies to everyone, even those with “conceal and carry” permits. At orientation sessions freshmen will learn that we have “no tolerance” for weapons and that they will be suspended on the first offense for violating that rule. Upon entering the office of the Department of Public Safety on the west end of the university you will notice a large screen displaying several “panning” cameras strategically located to capture most outside areas on campus. The cameras are not only intended to be a deterrent to crime, but the hope is that someone carrying a weapon would be spotted by the dispatcher and the DPS officers would be notified. The dispatcher could then immediately alert faculty and staff members in nearby classroom buildings (by means of a “ring-down” system that calls every extension in a building at once) to go into “lockdown” to reduce potential injuries.

Among the steps being taken, DPS officers are instructed to be vigilant regarding vehicles on campus that are not registered and individuals who don’t have proper identification. While those in law enforcement concede that it is nearly impossible to prevent all violence, it is important to do everything in our power to make it difficult for the perpetrator.