Missouri Learns From Shooting

9 years 8 months 2 days ago May 24, 2007 May 24, 2007 Thursday, May 24 2007 Thursday, May 24, 2007 9:50:58 PM CDT in News
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A little over a month ago, the Virginia Tech shootings got the country's universities rethinking their emergency crisis plans. Missouri officials heard Virginia Tech state police and the U.S. ATF agents talk about how they communicated with each other during the killings.

"I do believe the task force did benefit in that we learned some things about prior planning and the establishment of relationships in advance," said Mark James, Mo public safety director.

The main point: communication between police, community, and students.

"I had been here 4 years and I've never really though about what our safety precautions are or really what I'm suppose to do in a situation like that. I don't think I've ever been addressed about that or been told what we would do in some situation like that," said Virginia Weixelman, MU senior, said.

In response to Virginia Tech, Missouri's campus security task force formed to assess campus security across the state.

Shortly after the tragedy at Virginia Tech, Missouri colleges and universities took a survey describing their emergencies crisis plans. Thirty-three of those institutions responded. Of those, 85 percent said that they do have an emergency crisis plan in place.

"Now the content of those plans, how much those plans involve relationships between the campus community and the local law enforcement communities, we will be analyzing the answers in more detail," said Robert Stein, Missouri higher education commissioner.

The group also discussed an internet-based tool called the 'Emergency Response Information Program.' This program assists schools and daycare facilities in planning and training for an emergency.

The group will meet again on June 7 and June 11 in St. Louis and Kansas City. It hopes to have a report ready by August 1.

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