- Associated Press - Saturday, October 10, 2015

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) - Following the fatal shooting of nine people on a community college campus in Oregon, the systems that run New Hampshire’s universities and community colleges say the safety of students, faculty and staff is paramount and that officials constantly review security and emergency response plans.

The state’s four university campuses design and review their own emergency response plan to shootings while the seven community colleges customize their plans based on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security template. Both systems said the plans are checked regularly.

The plans run the spectrum from how to prevent situations from escalating, intervening with people who might be at risk of turning violent and notifying the campus community in case of an incident. They also spell out what the law enforcement response should look like.

At Keene State College, for example, students are taught from the time they arrive how to handle a shooting incident. Faculty and staff are briefed on emergency procedures and additional training is provided on how to identify potentially dangerous behavior.

All first-year Keene students take a safety orientation program that also includes identifying dangerous behavior and what to do if there is an active shooter. College, city and state officials plan together and conduct response drills. If an incident occurs, text, email and phone messages are sent to faculty, staff and students and the campus goes into lockdown.

“At this time we believe the appropriate steps and strong protocols have been established to ensure safety on our campuses,” university system spokeswoman Tiffany Eddy said in an email. “However, safety requires vigilance and we will continue to be vigilant and continue to look for ways to improve upon our systems and protocols to ensure our campuses are as safe as possible.”

Shannon Reid, a spokeswoman for the community college system, said those campuses have also invested in video cameras, lockdown systems, emergency call stations and notification systems.

“Trainings and drills are held regularly to support college community awareness and compliance with emergency procedures established at each college,” she said.

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