Campus Safety executes active shooter drill

Biola is the first to conduct the exercise with neighboring universities involved.

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Alondra Urizar/THE CHIMES

Alondra Urizar/THE CHIMES

Marika Adamopoulos

Marika Adamopoulos

Alondra Urizar/THE CHIMES

Melissa Hedrick, Writer

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Biola conducted one of the largest, school-wide campus lockdown drills in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and Southern California on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

A STRATEGIC TIME

This exercise, along with a hypothetical active shooter indoor exercise, was held by Campus Safety in partnership with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, LA County Fire Department, La Mirada Public Safety, various Biola departments, as well as directors for Campus Safeties from colleges and universities such as Fuller Theological Seminary, El Camino and Cerritos Community Colleges.

The lockdown drill began when a message was sent to students and faculty through the Emergency Notification System and email at 10:18 a.m. This time was specially chosen since it is the time of day when the campus is most highly populated. The LASD and Biola Campus Safety were set up around campus to observe as students received the notification and moved to the safety of buildings.

A HELFULL DRILL

“Five minutes, no four and a half minutes [until students were inside]. Being the first time we’ve done this ever, I think all the professionals from the Sheriff’s and all the other chiefs were like ‘Woah,’” said Chief John Ojeisekhoba of Biola’s Campus Safety.

Students were quickly ushered into the building closest to them by staff wearing bright yellow Emergency Response Team vests. While some took time to get inside, the majority of students found the drill helpful.

“I was walking to the library when the drill happened and so they were like ushering everyone inside,” said Taylor Zerbe, freshman public relations major. “I think it’s a good idea especially cause you look at some of the other campuses that have had shootings and we’re probably unprepared, so I think it’s good.”

BETTER COMMUNICATION

While some see the event as a positive event, there are still aspects of the drill that students wish had been handled differently regarding communication.

“I think it would be good to know a little bit ahead of time so we know that it’s coming up cause I know a lot of people that were late to class and my professor didn’t realize it was a drill,” said Jordan Wilson, sophomore photography major.

For the size of the drill, it was viewed as a success by the participating departments and organizations. Gary Mejia, director of Campus Safety at Fuller Theological Seminary noted the quality of Biola’s safety program and said he would note several elements from the drill to utilize at his institution.

“You know the take home I have here is collaboration with the different departments that can’t underestimate what an event of this magnitude takes place. People have already had to have processed what they’re going to do. They can’t wait to think through it and grab notebooks and stuff,” Mejia said.

 

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