Virginia Tech Security Recommendations

By Desiree J. Hanford  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Shootings Call For New Security, Response Plans on CampusPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Report Identifies Best Security Practices at Northern Illinois University

The Virginia Tech Review Panel presented its findings to Gov. Tim Kaine in August 2007. Highlights of the report:

Senior university administrators, acting as the emergency Policy Group, failed to issue an all-campus notification about the killings in the dormitory building until almost two hours had elapsed. University practice may have conflicted with written policies.

The Virginia Tech Police Department erred in not requesting that the Policy Group issue a campuswide notification that two persons had been killed in the dormitory and that all students and staff should be cautious and alert.

The Virginia Tech police may have erred in prematurely concluding that their initial lead in the double homicide was a good one, or at least in conveying that impression to university officials while continuing their investigation. They did not take sufficient action to deal with what might have happened if the initial lead proved erroneous. The police reported to the university emergency Policy Group that the “person of interest” probably was no longer on campus.

The police response at Norris Hall, the location of the mass killings, was prompt and effective, as was triage and evacuation of the wounded. Evacuation of others in the building could have been implemented with more care.

Emergency medical care immediately following the shootings was provided very effectively and timely both onsite and at the hospitals, although providers from different agencies had some difficulty communicating with one another. Communication of accurate information to hospitals standing by to receive the wounded and injured was somewhat deficient early on. An emergency operations center at Virginia Tech could have improved communications.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner properly discharged the technical aspects of its responsibility (primarily autopsies and identification of the deceased). Communication with families was poorly handled.

State systems for rapidly deploying trained professional staff to help families get information, crisis intervention, and referrals to a wide range of resources did not work.

In order to advance public safety and meet public needs, Virginia’s colleges and universities need to work together as a coordinated system of state-supported institutions.

Other reports about the shootings have also been released, including one in April 2008 from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators.

Continue Reading: Campus Security: Preventive Measures

Shootings Call For New Security, Response Plans on Campus

Virginia Tech Security Recommendations

Report Identifies Best Security Practices at Northern Illinois University

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  posted on 10/1/2008   Article Use Policy

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