The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

Securing, notifying campus

December 5, 2016

Jeff Baker, director of Safety and Emergency Management for 20 years, said the OSU attack will undoubtedly be discussed among university officials.

The university is a part of Kentucky Higher Education Emergency Management Association, a organization that holds annual meetings for updates on protocol and how situations were handled within the past year.

“I’m sure we will talk about OSU our next meeting,” Baker said. “You have to look at this like a learning curve. You have to be able to evaluate past experiences to make things work.”

Baker said NKU has several methods for notifying campus of an emergency, including speaker systems inside of every building and five outdoor speakers across campus which canned, public announcements controlled by the police department.

Jeff Baker, director of Safety and Emergency Management, said there are five speakers like these on buildings around campus. The speakers are designed to disseminate public announcements in the event of a campus emergency.

Derek Daley
Jeff Baker, director of Safety and Emergency Management, said there are five speakers like these on buildings around campus. The speakers are designed to disseminate public announcements in the event of a campus emergency.

Despite campus’ size and traffic, Baker feels NKU is “equipped for any situation.”  

Though Baker feels emergency response is adequate, he is aware of general security violations, such as students leaving doors propped open.

He said propped doors can pose a major problem in terms of building security. In the event of a lockdown, he said, leaving the doors propped open can complicate the procedure. Building lockdowns can be controlled through the police department as well.

Gaffin said determining whether to lockdown a building comes with more responsibility than people would think.

“Not only are you keeping the bad guy out of the building, but you’re also keeping out people who are looking for safety,” Gaffin said. “We wouldn’t want anyone to be harmed because they couldn’t get to safety.”

Baker said along with alert and lockdown systems, it’s up to everyone to make sure they understand their own responsibility to take care of themselves in any given situation.

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