CWU president applauds community for response to false active shooter reports
SPOKANE, Wash. — In a statement sent Thursday, Central Washington University President James Gaudino applauded the school community for its reaction to false reports of an active shooter.
“I applaud not only our first responders, but also our students, staff and faculty, who followed the police instructions to stay in place or to stay away from the campus during the episode. Thank you for your help, your understanding, and your cooperation, which greatly aided law enforcement as they sought to secure the campus,” the statement said.
In a press conference given on Wednesday evening, Gaudino said that one of three buildings where responders were alerted to was used for an active shooter response training in August. That specific drill might be newer to school safety plans but preparedness has long been the goal.
“What’s your plan if something like this happens? Have a plan. Think about what your exits are,” said Tim Walters, the chief of police and director of public safety at Eastern Washington University.
Before he spoke with KXLY crews on Thursday, Walters gave EWU students a safety tour of the school’s new Pence Union Building. He said the tour was not being given in response to the situation at Central Wednesday night but instead is a regular offering to members of the campus community looking to increase their situational awareness.
“When we send you an emergency notification to lock down or stay clear of this area… this is what we’re doing and this is why we’re doing it. The communication piece between us and our campus is critical,” he said.
Knowing what to do and where to go will help first responders access and secure a threat or emergency efficiently- wherever or whatever that is.
“We also know that these shootings occur in any type of venue that’s out there from theatres to concert venues to places of worship, so actually we’re preparing them for anywhere they are in their life,” Walters said.
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