Mercer reacts to Florida State shooting

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Mercer reacts to Florida State shooting

Marin Guta

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A shooting this week at a Florida State University has prompted other schools — including Mercer — to scrutinize their own campus safety plans.

FSU was praised for their timely response to tragedy. Once the university received notice of the gunman’s whereabouts, FSU’s campus police officers stormed into Strozier library and shot the armed gunman after he failed to comply to their commands, according to The Washington Post.

Early Thursday morning, President Underwood sent out an email to University officials with a URL link to the news story.

“He was absolutely on top of it and made sure the senior officers and the University were aware,” Larry Brumley said, vice president for marketing communications. “He periodically asks us updates on our preparedness.”

Mercer University has a detailed campus emergency preparedness plan outlined on the Mercer Police Department’s website. Brumley said designated university officials are in charge of updating this plan and making changes when necessary.

If there were to be an active shooter on campus, there is a specific protocol the campus follows. This protocol involves coordination with the Bibb-County Sheriff Office and other first responders, according to the Mercer Police Department.

Brumley said that the Mercer Police Department periodically conducts “table top exercises” where a Mercer Police officer is given emergency scenario and then acts out a response to that particular situation. After completing the exercise, the officer is critiqued on his response and given additional advice.

However, diligent preparation cannot guarantee that an campus shooting will never occur.

“You can’t plan for every possible thing that could happen,” Brumley said. “There are so many variations for what could happen, but there is a general protocol for how to deal with an active shooter on campus.”

Larry Collins, chief of Mercer police, said that if there was an campus shooting the police officers are instructed to immediately respond and call in reinforcements from Bibb-county Sheriff Office if needed.

Look at Mercer’s emergency preparation plan to learn more about how to respond to a campus shooting.

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