Shootings strike a nation

Is the Ferris campus ready?

The numerous shootings which have taken place across the country have captured the attention of American citizens.

Many here at Ferris may feel slight apprehension about the possibility of similar incidents occurring right at our own campus. Certainly the tragic events of Virginia Tech show that the nightmarish scenario of a mass-shooting on a college campus can very much become reality.

While most don’t expect a disaster to strike, many would like to know that if the worst-case scenario were to occur, actions would be taken to contain the damage. Chief Marty Bledsoe from Ferris’ Department of Public Safety described the campus’ protocol in reaction to such an event as “very extensive.” Bledsoe went on to mention that the campus police would work with other police agencies in the area through mutual aid in handling the crisis. The protocol incorporates data from the 2007 report on the Virginia Tech shootings in how to best handle a shooter on campus.

Ferris has not been an area which has suffered excessive gun violence, though its history is not entirely clean of such incidents.

Back in 1982, for example, a gun fight between a shooter and police broke out on campus. The shooter was killed by police. Around the same time there was an incident of a student killing a faculty member.

Chief Bledsoe recommends students look into training which is offered by the Department of Public Safety here at Ferris on how to act if there were to be a shooter on campus. This training is offered by the campus police to students, faculty and staff.

Chief Bledsoe also recommends staying informed and engaged on shootings that are happening elsewhere around the country as a good way of being prepared for a possible shooting that happens nearby.

Ferris students are told by Chief Bledsoe that while nothing is a sure thing and that students should never let their guard down, they are living in a very safe environment here at Ferris. There is not a significant threat of a shooter emerging.