How safe is Albany State? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

How safe is Albany State?

April 16, 2007

Albany-  Albany State University Police are on high alert. A shooting of any kind, on any college campus is enough to make school safety officials take a close look at just how safe their campus is. So how safe is Albany State?

It's the common reaction from Albany State University students. "It's very, very, very terrible," said ASU Junior Rodney Bowles.

"It's real sad," said ASU Junior Stacy Adams.

Feelings of sadness, after more than 30 people were killed on Virginia Tech's campus. Two dozen others were injured.

"I think it's pretty sad. It's like you're not safe to go to school anymore," said Sophomore William Jackson.

The shootings took place where students usually have their guards down. "You're not safe anywhere. Not even at school," said Sophomore Kristin Edwards.

The Albany State Police Department was just as shocked to hear the tragic news. "My sympathy goes out to the loved ones that were killed or injured," said ASU Police Chief Roberson Brown.

But Chief Roberson Brown says as unfortunate those shootings are, it's an opportunity for Albany State to look within. "To see whether or not we're properly trained and prepared to handle a similar situation," said Brown.

Brown says a similar situation can't be prevented but ASU is prepared to lessen the blow if it did happen. "The main thing is to identify the threat immediately and take the appropriate action to eliminate the threat," said Brown. Even if it means resorting to deadly force.

"This is one of the best rounds for police work for barricaded suspects and anyone shooting back at officers. This goes through doors, walls and other things if we have to," said Brown. Students and faculty members also need to know what to do so they don't become what Chief Brown calls easy targets.

"Evacuations. Stay in your rooms. Don't be going out being curious trying to figure out what's happening," said Brown. Still the thought of it happening here is unavoidable for students.

"It can happen anywhere," said Bowles.

"It's surprising. We have police officers and you wouldn't think that any weapons would get on the yard," said Edwards.

"They went to school thinking that they were safe and now they're never coming home because somebody brought a gun to school," said Jackson.

The Virginia gunman left a heavy, permanent mark on Virginia Tech's campus--one that Albany State hopes to never experience.

17 police officers and 7 security officers split 24 patrols at Albany State. Faculty and staff are all required to wear identification at school. Dorms can't be accessed without swiping a card. All vehicles on campus are required to have a parking decal so police can monitor who's on campus.  

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