The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Emergency system to ensure student safety

School shootings at Northern Illinois and Virginia Tech have prompted the administration at EC to implement a new messaging system that will allow students and instructors to receive e-mails and rapid phone calls in the occurrence of an emergency on campus.

The system will be put into action within the next 60 days, and should be fully operational by fall.

The police department hopes to be as prepared as California State Dominguez Hills was last week when an alleged gunman was on their campus.

“They had a huge response from the Sheriff’s Department,” Stephen Port, chief of police, said.

“I believe we would be in a very similar position to have the same sort of mutual aid.”

Port had been working with director of safety Rocky Bonura in an attempt to better the college’s emergency plans and decided to purchase the “school messaging” system software.

This new system will alert students and instructors as to where to evacuate and will work better than a public address system that would only send one message.

The school messaging system will send specific e-mails and text messages to both students and faculty so that every person will be directed away from the incident and toward a safe location.

“There could be any sort of emergency, a fire, a shooting, or an earthquake, and their only means of communication is their phones or their computers” Port said.

Emergency awareness has been a big issue for the police force in past weeks; they have been preparing with local sheriffs departments to set up an emergency response system.

The new messaging system should factor into that.

In the meantime, students and faculty are expected to follow the emergency lockdown procedure designated by Bonura.

Everyone is expected to ensure all doors remain locked and to keep everyone away from the windows.

“Hopefully, everyone knows what the safety procedures are and can act accordingly,” David Lopez, EC student, said.

But the problem is that some people do want to take this situation into their own hands.

Some parents are lobbying for their children to be able to carry handguns in school as protection.

Those laws have most assuredly no chance of being put into effect, but the mere fact that people would think like that is cause for concern.

“That is a crazy idea, guns will only bring violence, and they require training and certification. They are not for children,” Port said.

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