VC, UHV have security plans in place
By Advocate Staff Report
Sept. 28, 2010 at 4:28 a.m.
Officials at the University of Houston - Victoria and Victoria College each have their own way of addressing active shooters on campus.
Genaro Cortez, safety and risk manager for UHV, said the school promotes three strategies: seek cover, lockdown and deny access.
"The first step is cover," he said. "Either isolate yourself from the incident if you can, or try to get away from the incident if you can."
Cortez said once a person has found a safe place to hide the best thing to do is to deny anyone access to the spot.
The school can even lock the exterior doors of the two campus buildings remotely if needed.
"We error on the side of caution," he said. "Once we've determined that there is a shooter we go into lockdown no questions asked."
UHV also has a messaging system that will notify students, faculty and staff of a shooter through e-mail, cell and text messages. The campus would then work with local law enforcement to handle a shooter.
Victoria College Chief of Campus Police Matt Williams said his officers are prepared to meet force with force.
"Our policy is officers are going to immediately engage the threat and try to neutralize that threat," he said. "It's something that we've trained to address and something we've had countless hours of training in."
The department would also ask for assistance from the Victoria police.
Williams suggested anyone in danger to try to escape or seek cover.
"No. 1 escape," he said. "And if you can't, find a secured area, barricade the doors, get down if at all possible and try to conceal your movement."
A person caught near the shooter would have to decide whether or not to fight.
"If worst came to worse they would have to make up in their mind if they were gong to take up an aggressive position against that shooter," he said.
Darin Kazmir, director of marketing and communications, said students faculty and staff would be notified through the newly established VC Emergency Alert System. The system contacts people through e-mail, home and cell phones. The school will be testing the system for the first time at 3 p.m. Wednesday.