9OYS Safety Alert

Prepping for the worst: Local colleges ready for shooter threat

CREATED Jan 22, 2013

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Reporter: Marcelino Benito

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - In just minutes, a quiet day on a college campus can turn hectic, can turn dangerous. It happened Tuesday morning in Houston. Tucson saw it at the University of Arizona's Nursing School just a decade ago.

"How prepared are you for these shooter incidents?" asked 9OYS reporter Marcelino Benito.

"I think we're extremely prepared," UAPD Sgt. Juan Alvarez said.

Alvarez says the university is constantly working to improve its active shooter response.

"So if you come on campus and you have a weapon, expect to be challenged to make sure we keep it as safe as we can," he said.

The university has a Campus Emergency Response Team, charged with making sure plans are in place. There's also Threat Assessment, where students and faculty can report anyone they believe could be a threat. And then there's UAlert, a text messaging system that warns students what's going on.

"Incidents happen but we try to prepare as best we can," Alvarez said.

At Pima Community College, there have been no school shooting or active shooter incidents. But it still actively trains to make sure it can keep it that way.

"I know we are as well trained as we can be at this time," Szady said. "And we're always making it more realistic."

Pima tells 9OYS Campus Action Teams are in place to assist police and students in case of emergency. The school can reach students via email, text and even a PA system across campuses. Procedures are in place to keep students safe, but law enforcement hopes it will never be put to the real test.

"Officers are responding while shooting is going on, so people's lives are in jeopardy," Szady said. "If you don't take action immediately, more people will get hurt and die. It's the most critical thing you can face."

For more information on UA's Emergency Response, click here.

For more information on Pima Community College's Emergency Response, click here.