You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Ohio State attack: How Georgia colleges prepare for the worst


Predicting and eliminating every possible way an attacker could hurt students and staff may not be realistic. But after Monday’s attack at Ohio State University, officials at Atlanta-area schools say they’re ready if an attack happens.

“In this world as we’ve seen it, sometimes people have their own agenda and you don’t see it coming,” Georgia State University Police Chief Joe Spillane said. “You can only prepare for it.”

The University System of Georgia requires all institutions to have an emergency response plan and update it annually, a requirement all schools are currently in compliance with, system spokesperson Charles Sutlive said.

“The safety and security of our campus communities are our number one priority,” he said.

Those plans include an outline of how students, staff and law enforcement should react to an “active shooter” on campus. The details of those plans are set by each school, but many echo the options Ohio State officials presented to students in the midst of Monday’s attack: Run. Hide. Fight.

Georgia Gwinnett College’s version: Evacuate, hide or barricade, fight.

“As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter. Act as aggressively as possible against him/her. Throw items and improvise on weapons. Yell and scream. Commit to your actions,” the school’s response tips say.

But someone shooting is just one among many emergencies schools plan for.

Georgia Tech, for example, has detailed plans for everything from the release of radiation or pathogenic microorganisms to wild animals on campus or a “media surge” after an emergency or special event.

The task of being ready for anything can be especially challenging on Atlanta’s intown campuses. There’s the threat of robberies and other crimes, collisions between students or staff and cars or other vehicles, and the other potential risks of city life.

Still, officials at schools in Atlanta and across the state say they’re focused on campus safety.

University system schools plan to add 51 officers across the state this year, an increase of 6 percent.

Schools are cracking down on access to buildings, in some cases installing biometric scanners at entrances or requiring campus visitors to show ID.

Campus police officers train regularly on how to respond to active-shooter and similar attacks.

And school officials say their police departments are ready to team up with other local public safety agencies. All but three university-system schools have mutual aid agreements with local law enforcement. Georgia State and Georgia Tech will conduct a joint training exercise over Christmas break. And Emory University’s police officers have trained with DeKalb County officers and participated in exercises that address an “active threat.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

10-year-old finds mom shot to death
10-year-old finds mom shot to death

Gwinnett County police are searching for a man accused of shooting his wife to death and leaving her body for her 10-year-old son to find.“Based on the preliminary investigation, a domestic dispute occurred between a husband and wife,” Gwinnett police spokeswoman Michele Pihera said. Police responded to the incident around midnight Thursday...
Police: Man shoots Facebook Live while recklessly driving on Florida beach
Police: Man shoots Facebook Live while recklessly driving on Florida beach

Police arrested a 27-year-old man after they said he drove recklessly on a stretch of beach on the west coast of Florida and streamed it on Facebook Live, WFTS reported. >> Read more trending news Clearwater police arrested Ryan Stiles after he allegedly drove on the beach from Clearwater to Caladesi Island. A Facebook Live video shows Stiles...
Georgia woman ignored 911 orders, drove away after being shot outside Starbucks
Georgia woman ignored 911 orders, drove away after being shot outside Starbucks

Georgia authorities are trying to piece together what led to a shooting that injured a woman Thursday afternoon.  >> Read more trending news About 2:30 p.m., a woman walked into a Starbucks in Atlanta and said she had been shot, Cobb County Police Officer Alicia Chilton told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Witnesses told WSB ...
NY to DC in 29 minutes? Elon Musk says he has verbal OK to build Hyperloop
NY to DC in 29 minutes? Elon Musk says he has verbal OK to build Hyperloop

A train ride from New York to Washington, D.C., in 29 minutes? Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk said it’s possible, and added that a plan to build a Hyperloop One underground tube train has been given “verbal (government) approval,” NPR reported. >> Read more trending news Musk said that the Hyperloop’s planned route would...
‘I was just tired’: Man admits to throwing, killing 3-month-old son
‘I was just tired’: Man admits to throwing, killing 3-month-old son

A Kentucky man, claiming he was “just tired” when his 3-month-old son would not stop crying, admitting to throwing and killing the boy, WLKY reported. >> Read more trending news Cody Bates, of Louisville, is charged with the June death of the baby.  He is at Metro Corrections on a $1 million bond. Bates originally told police...
More Stories