In wake of Ohio State attack, MTSU creates active shooter guide

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – In the wake of the Ohio State University attack, it’s causing a Middle Tennessee university to take a second look at its safety and security plan on campus.

Middle Tennessee State University rolled out an enhanced security plan Thursday, focusing on active shooters, additional cameras, and emergency call stations.

MTSU is already one of the top 50 safest schools in the country, and university officials want to keep it that way.

With the fall semester coming to an end, only a few students remain on campus Thursday taking last minute finals.

MTSU Junior Jacob Dean said he feels safe on campus, but when he heard the news of the knife and vehicle attack at Ohio State University it made him think, could it happen here.

“When some tragic event happens you really don’t know when it’s going to happen so it always good to keep your guard up as much as possible,” Dean said.

The engineering major is glad that campus officials are taking the safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors into consideration.

MTSU rolled out a new enhanced security plan with an Active Shooter Guide, and a wealth of information on its alert4u web site.

It includes an active shooter video provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“I do feel that they are trying to make this as safe of a campus as possible,” Dean said.

Student Haley Laney is not sure how she would have reacted if she was in the shoes of the Ohio State students.

“So I was thinking what would I have done in that situation and I honestly don’t know what I would have done,” Laney said.

That’s the main reason campus officials want to educate students that if there is an active shooter they can run to safety, hide if possible, or fight as a last resort.

“Something like active shooter can be a scary topic,” MTSU police chief Buddy Peaster said. “We don’t want people to be afraid. We know they are going to be nervous to a certain degree when you read a headline like we saw earlier this week.”

MTSU will also be adding up to 400 surveillance cameras on campus.

Cameras have already assisted with the arrest of a man who vandalized a sorority house and stole a vehicle from campus, according to police.

In addition to adding more cameras, the university will be adding emergency call stations all across campus.

Currently there aren’t any.

“Not only can you go up and push a button and get direct contact with our dispatch center; we’ll have video to see what’s going on the box,” Peaster said. “We’ll also have cameras on top that will be on 24/7.”

Safety is the bottom line.

“Even in very difficult situations you can be safe, you can make safe choices, you don’t have to be panic and paralyzed,” Peaster said.

In addition to MTSU police, the IT Department and Student Affairs will be working together to get the active shooter guide in the hands of all students, and each incoming student.