The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Prepare now to save lives later

Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington

If a madman walks onto a TCC campus and opens fire, we are prepared.

Frank Buchanan, district chief of police, said his campus police have received the national training they are required to have.

“Active Shooter training was developed nationwide since Columbine,” he said.

While no one can keep these shootings from happening, training will help the police react efficiently and speedily.

The recent tragedies at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University have made all campus families aware that extreme measures must be taken when deadly incidents occur.

Following these shootings, psychological pundits have appeared in all areas of media explaining what causes these men to go on shooting sprees. But everyone knows that unless the person tells someone about his plans, little can be done to prevent the outbreak of violence.

When violent campus events took place in the past, officials would call in local SWAT teams, but they now know they cannot afford to do that because of the time element.

Today, the police must automatically respond to the shooter. To save lives, all units need to react with an immediate armed response, and TCC is ready for that.

A campuswide communications system also is needed where everyone can be notified if danger is near.

TCC must continue to update its communication systems. Locking down a campus will be necessary, but alerting all college students, faculty, staff and administration must be done quickly and efficiently.

Our administrators must put in place a system so any campus official can send out e-mails and text messages in any hazardous condition. Many universities have call boxes in parking areas so someone may call for help any time.

For the most part, we must rely on our police department to keep us protected. We must depend on their training to take on any perpetrator and stop him or her.

But realistically, we must also rely on faculty and ourselves to react properly. It is up to all of us to maintain control in classrooms and keep mayhem to a minimum. We must become advocates for our own protection.

Our own advocacy could help us avoid the tragedies we continue to see unfold at colleges across the nation. We cannot pretend that such an incident could not occur here.

Chief Buchanan said the ADD principle would help in any dangerous situation.

“Avoid the area by any means. Delay entry by even stacking objects so no one can enter the place that is being attacked. Defend yourself under all circumstances,” he said.

We must all be prepared to take whatever actions are needed to save lives. No one needs to be a hero when dealing with a deranged person, but it will take all of us to protect our campus. Let us all be more diligent in keeping communications open and reporting anyone with aberrant behavior to the proper authorities.

We must take charge to protect our campus and our lives.

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