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Campus security closely examined after Sandy Hook

Staff Reporter

Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 7, 2013 17:01

Blue light phone

Photo by Joe Shearer/The Gateway

Horrible school shootings such as the Columbine, Virginia Tech, or Sandy Hook events lead to heightened concern about the safety and security of the places where we spend our time. These events are devastating, but fortunately are less common than many other crimes and emergencies. Tornadoes, winter storms, chemical spills, fires and others are all potential threats, but UNO’s Campus Security and Crisis Management Team have plans to address each. They are all available online and are worth being aware of as the new semester begins.

An excellent first step is subscribing to the emergency alert system that sends text messages with updates and information on emergencies on campus. It can be found on the UNO emergency website. This site also has plans and advisements for various threats and emergencies that could happen on campus, and serves as an excellent tool to inform yourself about the proper actions for each event.

UNO Campus Security also offers student and faculty services including security escorts by request if you are on campus outside normal working hours or are uncomfortable walking around alone at night.  Additionally, Blue Light Emergency Phones scattered about campus are provided for your own safety and initiate a quick response to an emergency.

The emergency response team is always on alert on campus.  They operate independently of the Omaha Police Department; however, the police are always contacted in the event of a crime or emergency requiring additional manpower or expertise.

All these methods are preventative and responsive to emergencies that could happen at UNO, but as most of the plans say, all that you can control are your own responses. If the weather is too inclement for you to drive or move, then stay put and wait it out.  If there is a chemical spill, move away and contact security so that those trained can take over and control the situation.  
In the highly unlikely event of an active shooter, the plan says to run if possible, hide otherwise and fight back only if you have no choice.  
Unfortunately, emergency situations are a part of life, but fear and paranoia don’t have to control your life.  Being aware of the security measures and teams at UNO and reporting crimes and events is a passive, but effective way to keep campus safe and secure.

Visit the UNO Campus Security and UNO emergency websites for videos, tips, and services that you can utilize and apply.

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