Anniversary marks school shooting

” Valentine’s Day marked the one year anniversary since the Northern Illinois University shootings. Students may remember when Steve Kazmierczak opened fire on NIU’s Cole Hall where five students were killed and 21 injured, in what many say was one of the worst campus massacres.”

Valentine’s Day marked the one year anniversary since the Northern Illinois University shootings.

Students may remember when Steve Kazmierczak opened fire on NIU’s Cole Hall where five students were killed and 21 injured, in what many say was one of the worst campus massacres.

Since then, many universities have taken this tragedy as a lesson and prepared themselves for such a situation.

University of Akron Police Chief Paul Callahan said that UAPD has taken various steps over the past year to insure student safety.

One of those steps includes the hiring of six new police officers.

We also have mutual aid agreements with the Akron Police Department, Callahan said. They also have agreements other local police agencies such as the Summit County Sheriff’s Department.

We have had those mutual agreements for a long time so they can respond in case of an emergency, Callahan said.

There are also various modes of transportation the police employ to increase visibility around the campus.

He said that the events of NIU and Virginia Tech have changed the way that UAPD officers patrol the campus area.

Officers, like the community itself, are more alert and more aware, Callahan said.

He also pointed to the A.L.I.C.E. training that has been a key part in training not only students but also faculty and staff as well.

The program’s director Sgt. Chad Cunningham said that the program has trained about 3,280 students, faculty and staff at the University of Akron.

The program’s goal is to teach members of UA how to effectively respond in case of an emergency: like a shooter on the campus.

Cunningham said that the program has received nothing but positive feedback so far.

Callahan also mentioned Z-Alert, the text messaging system that alerts students about situations on campus. There is also the outdoor alarming system which broadcasts over the entire campus to alert students if a problem should occur and the reverse 911, which allows the UAPD dispatch to call all office phones on campus and alert them of issues.

Even though the shooting occurred only one year ago, senior media production major Flash Johnson said that even when the tragedy happened he did not hear to much about it.

I didn’t notice it with all the bombings in the Middle East, Johnson said.

He quickly pointed to examples such as Virginia Tech and airport bombings in Europe, saying that it’s like throwing the dice; he just does not worry about a bomb at the airport or being shot on campus.