Local colleges look at own safety plans

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Local colleges look at own safety plans

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By John Hilliard/Daily News staff
GHS
Wed Apr 18, 2007, 12:07 AM EDT

After Monday's Virginia Tech massacre, several area colleges and police departments expect to take a closer look at their plans to grapple with a future emergency.

"It's safe to say over the next few days every college around the country will be reviewing their current (safety) procedures," said Peter Chisholm, spokesman for Framingham State College. "We will review what we have in place."

Framingham and FSC police coordinate on training, he said.

In an e-mail sent yesterday, FSC President Timothy Flanagan asked faculty, staff and students to report any suspicious activities and review the school's emergency response plan.

During an interview, he said campus police and Framingham Police have a close working relationship, and campus security can call on the town police for support when needed.

Flanagan met with campus leaders and security officials yesterday to discuss emergency plans following the shooting in Virginia.

"We're not isolated, we're not cloistered" as a campus, said Flanagan.

In Waltham, home to Brandeis University and Bentley College, police Detective Sgt. Timothy King expected to discuss emergency plans with both institutions.

"I'm certain we will be talking to administrators for the schools," said King.

He said city police are familiar with both campuses, but would not comment on any training the city and the two schools' campus security departments undertake.

"That incident is on the same level as a terrorist event," for which police have trained, he said. "We do work closely with both (campus police) departments."

Franklin Police Deputy Chief Stephen Semerjian said his department has a good working relationship with Dean College. The two institutions also have plans in place to ensure "communication is good and fluid," he said.

In Weston, Regis College held a prayer vigil yesterday for the victims as a statement of "solidarity and community," said M.J. Doherty, a former professor and special assistant to the college president.

She said the Catholic school is working on ways to address the needs of any isolated students and "bring that person out of isolation before they can get trapped on a tragic path," she said.

According to published reports, the Virginia Tech shooter was student Cho Seung-Hui, who was described as an isolated loner by some law enforcement officials, and committed suicide after killing the 32 victims.

Regis has a close relationship with Weston Police and does not arm its campus officers, said Doherty. Since 9/11, the school maintains its own disaster plans for emergencies.

"Every workplace, every campus, every situation is vulnerable," said Doherty.

(John Hilliard can be reached at 508-626-4449 or jhilliar@cnc.com.)

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Original Source: Framingham, MA - The MetroWest Daily News
<a href="http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x1352188768">http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x1352188768</a>

Licensed under <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/">Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5</a>.

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John Hilliard / MetroWest Daily News Staff

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2007-06-01

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eng

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John Hilliard / MetroWest Daily News Staff, "Local colleges look at own safety plans," in The April 16 Archive, Item #324, http://www.april16archive.org/items/show/324 (accessed November 25, 2014).