East Carolina University conducted the latest test of its emergency notification system on March 8, and it need look no further to the news emerging from Orlando this week to see the value of doing so. Law enforcement officials at the University of Central Florida are reporting that their swift response to a dorm fire alarm and 911 call likely prevented a would-be gunman from opening fire on students.
Though all the information about the Florida incident has yet to be made public, reviews of several school-related mass shootings show that a coordinated, rapid response by trained law enforcement professionals saves lives. It justifies the commitment East Carolina has made to continuous improvement of its emergency system through repeated testing and rigorous review.
Officials at UCF are still sifting through evidence found at an on-campus residence hall after finding a student dead early Monday morning with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Law enforcement responding to a 911 call from the man’s roommate and a nearly simultaneous fire alarm suspect that the deceased had planned a shooting rampage after they found weapons, an ammunition stockpile and two explosive devices in the dorm room.
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