College police: Up the security

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After a mass shooting at The Capital Gazette in June, Campus Current is calling on campus security for stronger efforts to prevent any shooters from ever opening fire on campus.

On June 28, a shooter killed five people in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, just 15 minutes from AACC.

Although AACC reports limited criminal activity, we shouldn’t underestimate the risk of a mass shooting on campus, especially considering recent incidents.

The most recent school shooting near our area occurred on March 20 at Great Mills High School in Lexington Park, Maryland, less than two hours away

The Great Mills shooting, the 17th to occur in a U.S. school since Jan.1, left one student dead and another injured after the gunman, their 17-year-old classmate, Austin Wyatt Rollins, killed himself just before class started.

Campus Current believes that the most important part of promoting safety is preventing a shooting in the first place rather than preparing for one.
Although the state will, starting this year, require AACC, a weapons-free campus, to annually prepare faculty, staff and police at the college on safety measures to take in the event a shooter comes here, this doesn’t reduce the risk of someone bringing a gun onto campus with the intention of committing a mass shooting.

However, AACC does not have bag checks or metal detectors because “that’s more of a K-12 model,” according to Melissa Beardmore, vice president for learning resources management.

It may seem inconvenient for security officers to check your bag, or for you to walk through a metal detector as you enter a building, but isn’t the small inconvenience, or the few extra minutes it would take, worth potentially saving lives?

No student should have to wonder what to do if a shooter comes on campus, because AACC should eliminate this possibility.

Preparing for the worst isn’t good enough.

Students walk around campus every day with backpacks and purses that could have guns hidden in them. That doesn’t seem unlikely in this day and age.

The college cannot trust that students are just going to abide by the rules without strict enforcement.

The only way to fully ensure that the campus is safe is to check their backpacks or force them to walk through metal detectors as they enter each building.

In order to enter any campus building, students should have to swipe security cards to prevent strangers from entering a building with the intention to shoot.

If AACC took these measures, it could protect students from mourning after an unnecessary and avoidable tragedy.

Our hearts go out to the victims of school shootings. We can’t forget all the lost lives, just because they were not the lives of students at AACC.

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