Faculty address gun violence and safety on campus

There have been 501 incidents of gunfire on school grounds since 2013, which resulted in 196 deaths and 383 injuries, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a non-profit dedicated to protecting communities from gun violence. 

With the ever-rising concern for public safety on campus grounds, campus police held an active shooter training this fall semester to discuss taking precautions as well as other safety features. 

“The training included instructions on how to evacuate the building when there is an active shooter in the area,” said Jason Newman, the president of the Los Rios Federation of Teachers. “We were given instructions on how to not only evacuate ourselves but how to evacuate others as well.”

While Newman said the campus had redesigned some of the doors to have the ability to lock from both the inside and outside, there are still classrooms that lack this function. 

Newman also said another step to increase safety awareness is adding the installment of approximately 100 cameras on campus. 

“With those cameras being the latest technology, it will change a lot since we only have a few cameras right now,” said Newman.

Los Rios Police Chief Larry Savidge said there were videos given during the training in regards to an active shooter on campus. The videos have been released for public view on the Los Rios Police Department’s website

Savidge said that various senates requested the training to occur for faculty before the semester began, but he also said he is unsure if this will be an ongoing training because it has yet to be approved by various senates. 

Eighteen-year-old computer science major Gavin Cable said that he feels safe on campus. 

“I feel like it’s good that they’re taking action just in case something will happen because you never know,” said Cable. 

Cable said he’s heard about a few incidents over at Laguna Creek High School, where there have been threats being written on the campus bathroom walls. 

Because of those incidents, Cable said he thinks it is a good thing there has been a training given to faculty in case there is an active shooter. 

Newman said the campus safety is brought up by faculty quite often as an issue to work on with the college management and the safety issues will continue to be discussed next semester. 

“One of the ways students can increase safety awareness on campus is to let professors and school administrators know about any safety concerns they have,” said Newman. “Also, students should put the campus police number in their cell phone.”