ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - At the University of New Mexico-Gallup, an armed sheriff’s officer swiftly enters a back door of a classroom with a gun in hand, showing how fast a shooting on campus can unfold.
The drill described is just one of several approaches in the UNM-system for training security and staff to respond to the presence of an active shooter on campus.
The New Mexico State University system, meanwhile, recommends all of its campuses train in what they describe as a “run, fight, hide” approach. The NMSU system also requires its campuses to develop an emergency plan for an active shooter situation and share those plans with faculty, staff and students.
An AP survey of public university systems found that most schools have set up sophisticated alert systems that use text messages, social media or technology that can remotely take over computers tied to campus servers.
In New Mexico, universities also place a significant amount of focus on drills and training, according to survey answers.
Since the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech, a federal campus crime law has required colleges and universities to adopt procedures for notifying the campus communities of an immediate threat. Schools must also publicize their emergency response plans “in a manner designed to reach students and staff.”
UNM crisis communication plan also has messaging formatted for text messages, emails and RSS feeds, to enable the school to quickly communicate with students, professors and staff members in an emergency situation. During a crisis, the messages are distributed through a notification system that every student, staff and faculty member is subscribed to, UNM spokeswoman Dianne Anderson said.
UNM and Univeristy of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque also run drills periodically to practice emergency response, she said.
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