Malone has reevaluated its security and made significant changes over the past several years as a result of numerous school shootings around the nation. These changes have included installing more security cameras, introducing 911 Shield and increasing the motility of campus security staff.
Twelve years ago, Malone only had eight security cameras with the majority of them in parking lots. The additional security cameras around campus help regulate populated areas and monitor who is active on campus.
911 Shield, previously called Pioneer Shield, was introduced last year as a free app available for students’ phones. It not only allows campus security to be contacted, but it gives security the ability to know the student’s location on campus. 911 Shield also allows students to anonymously report crimes as well as receive updates regarding breaks in school security.
The most substantial change to Malone’s security was creating a police force on campus. The campus force works with the Canton Police Department to better protect the campus community.
“The advantage in us having our own department”, said Dave Burnip, director of campus security, “is going to be that initial response.”
Canton’s police receive ten times the mandatory training required by the state of Ohio to handle school shootings. This valuable training equips them to handle a similar situation at Malone, but they need Malone’s department to navigate the campus.
Malone also has benefited in the collaboration with the Canton Police Department. It has allowed further training for security officers and effective responses to community members committing crimes on Malone’s campus. It also gives Malone more information regarding safety and crimes in the surrounding area.
Simply implementing new cameras and systems is not enough. Students are also responsible for safety.
“Be cognitive of your surroundings,” Burnip said.
Burnip suggested students make sure to know where the lockdown key is in each classroom and each escape route.
If there was a shooter on campus, students should get out of sight, turn off the lights, and contact campus security or 911with any information. If possible, get out of the building. As a last resort, fight back. Throw bags, water bottles, or books to cause confusion.
There are other paths students can use to pursue safety as well.
“Prayer is the biggest thing we can do as a community,” Mike Fairless, director of human resources, said.
Not all campuses have the privilege we have of leading worship. It is important to take advantage of the opportunity given to Malone as a Christian university.
“I would love to see more emphasis on prayer,” Fairless said.
After experiencing the shooting at Chardon High School in 2012, Nick Chesnes, sophomore business major, realized how fragile life is.
“I realized your life can end at any moment. You just don’t know if that day will be your last,” Chesnes said.
Although Chesnes had accepted Christ into his life, he did not actively seek out a personal relationship until after the shooting.
Chesnes’ experience left him constantly aware of the possibility of school shooting, but he said he feels safe on campus.
Kayla Lindgren is a contributing Writer for The Aviso