University leaders focus on safety

Sunday, April 13th 2008, 11:02 pm
By: News 9

By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9

EDMOND, Okla. -- Improving security on college campuses is the focus of a national summit this week at the University of Central Oklahoma.

The summit began Sunday with a mock shooting on the Edmond campus. Organizers said the program prepares local emergency responders to deal with a real-life crisis.

"I don't think anybody wants to think we can have a tragedy like what happened at Virginia and Northern Illinois here on an Oklahoma campus," said Jeff Harp, UCO director of public safety. "But the reality is, it can happen anywhere."

Students said they're glad to see universities increase safety measures.

"Campuses are being very responsible that there's this training," said Heidi Silcox, UCO student.

"We get warnings if there's a possibility if someone is spotted with a weapon."

UCO officials said if an emergency happens, they will notify students and staff by text, phone and e-mail.

Gov. Brad Henry created a task-force on campus security in the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings.  He's scheduled to present a summary of the group's findings Monday at the summit.