MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Faculty and staff at the University of Memphis are learning how to respond to a gunman on campus. They're taking part in an 'active shooter' training program.
In the last two months there have been three school shootings across the country. The Connecticut elementary shooting in December 2012 left more than two dozen children dead and several others injured. On January 10, there was a shooting at a high school in California. One person was shot but survived. Not even 2 weeks later there was another school shooting, this time at a college in Texas. Multiple people were injured.
"People are more interested in what they should consider if they're involved in an active shooter situation,” said University of Memphis Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Shelby Slater.
Faculty and staff at the University of Memphis are especially interested. So much so, the school's emergency preparedness coordinator has been running training programs non-stop the last 3 weeks.
"There's definitely an increase in demand for that course,” said Slater.
The program started two years ago. The difference now is that more U of M faculty members are taking it. They want to know exactly how to deal with a shooter.
“We’re teaching them how to get out of the building. If they can't get out then to hide out, lock themselves in a room, barricade themselves in a room, turn all the lights off, turn off all the sound-emitting kind of devices, and then calling law enforcement,” stated Slater.
Besides the training program, there are 35 university police officers and more than 500 cameras all around campus.
"We're continually one of the safest universities in the state. We've been in the top 3 in the last 5 years as far as having the safest campus,” said University of Memphis Police Director Bruce Harber.
Campus police will have drills to simulate campus shooters and victims during the summer, all in hopes of keeping faculty and students safe.