ABILENE,Texas (KRBC) – Three universities in one town all looking to keep their campuses safe and secure from any violent, giving their students peace of mind.
McMurry, Hardin Simmons and ACU are learning and refreshing memories on ways to deal with threats to campus.
ACU’s camera monitoring system surveys the campus with approximately 1,000 cameras, and that number is expected to increase, however, ACU’s new football stadium posing as what Chief Ellison calls a “soft target”.
“We want everybody in the stadiums or in the coliseum to have a great time at that event or that venue, but we have to be prepared,” said Ellison. “So we have very specific protocols. We staff up those events with police officers on duty. We have emergency plans in place. We have evacuation plans in place if we were to have an emergency in the stadium.”
McMurry police, along with the other campuses utilize blue security poles that alert the department, according to Mark Odom, director of security.
“If someone pushes the button it notifies the security officer that’s on duty immediately,” Odom said. “It also will let us know which pole it is.”
And all universities are also required to have university-wide push notification systems to be used as an additional safety measure. But, even the layout and fluidity of traffic on campus can create obstacles for security services.
“Our college campus here at ACU I think it has probably thirty entrances and exits, and we’re dealing with adults on our campus so we don’t really have the power or the authority to contain control where everybody is going to go as you do in a K through 12,” Ellison said.