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

TCC plan in the ready for potential shooters

By Cory Armstrong/reporter

An active shooter situation on campus can be a “traumatic experience,” said Van Parker, vice president of student development and educational services on NE Campus. Parker was present at the University of Texas during the Whitman shootings.

In an interview, Frank Buchanan, Tarrant County College Chief of Police offered suggestions for faculty and students on how to handle an active shooter situation.

Despite the push for guns on campus across the nation, Buchanan said colleges have many alternatives to allowing guns on campus, some of which are currently being implemented at Tarrant County College.

• Setting up a hotline: As of now, if there is ever a problem, students or staff can call TCC dispatch at 817-515-8911.

• More parking lot lighting: TCC has begun construction on the NE Campus to add more lighting to parking lots. All campuses will get additional lighting.

• Cell phone alerts: Amber Alerts has a program where users can go online and register their phone numbers to receive text message alerts when a child goes missing. Active shooter alerts could also be used on campus.

• Digital clocks: Digital clocks in every classroom could provide scrolling information to alert students and staff of any problems on campus.

Buchanan said three areas are important when dealing with active shooter situations.

• Armed response: police force, “highly, highly trained officers,” Buchanan said. “There are 14 officers at each campus.”

• Technology: getting the word out that there is a shooter on campus. Things that are currently in the works are pagers, cell phone alerts, emergency phones in parking lots, tornadic sirens that transmit audio messages and clocks that scroll digital information.

• Knowledge: faculty, staff and students knowing what to do and how to do it. This includes knowing one’s surroundings such as windows, emergency exits, bathrooms, etc. and knowing any skilled persons in the classroom, such as military, police and medical.

Buchanan said people should remember ADD when faced with an active shooter situation.
A—Avoid the area.
D—Delay and deny entry using anything and everything to block entrances.
D—Defend yourself as a last resort.

“We are depending on everybody to be part of the community,” he said. Because of the 85,000 students at TCC, “our problem is magnified.”

Buchanan said identification and notification are very important. If students or staff ever encounters suspicion of a possible occurrence, they should call dispatch at 817-515-8911.

“We are addressing every piece that we can, but we need their assistance,” he said.

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