EMMY JO MAGUIRE ’DOAH CONTRIBUTING WRITER
At Shenandoah University, students walk around campus all year with the peace of mind knowing that the Department of Public Safety officers are patrolling and keeping everyone safe by enforcing precautionary rules. The Department of Public Safety, commonly known on campus as DPS, patrols daily to ensure the safety of students and faculty alike. Some students may be indifferent to this team because of parking issues on campus, but they are here to protect more than enforce. Unfortunately, school shootings are becoming more of a norm in this generation. According to “Everytown for Gun Safety,” 26 colleges around the country in 2014 alone have expe- rienced shootings. Could something so grave happen here at Shenandoah?
Around campus, there are signs that show various symbols like a flame or a bomb. Under these sym- bols there is a list of things to do in that certain situation. According to DPS officer Jordan Baylor, during an active shooter situation, “we would try to set up a command center around where the shooter is to try to prevent him or her, or multiple shooters, from go- ing all over campus and try to contain the situation.” He, along with his col- leagues, mentioned the LiveSafe app. This is a new app for Shenandoah University at only two months old, which has a safe walk feature, a section where people can send in anonymous tips and report problems. Along with the LiveSafe app, students can find multiple blue emergency phones around campus in case anything happens to their phone like it dying or someone steals it. “Since I’ve been here,” Baylor said, “there hasn’t been too many calls through the blue phone, but they’re there.”
The Department of Public Safety goes on patrols most of the day to keep an eye out on campus for any suspicious activity, and in various situations, they pair up with the Win- chester Police Department to further students’ relaxation on campus. Most of them are fresh out of college and have an open mind. Officers are hap- py to answer any questions that pop up in students’ minds or to even chit chat a little. Although schools across the country continue to have shooters on campus and students continue to fall victim to these shooters, protec- tion by officers in colleges like the Department of Public Safety continue to keep Shenandoah University off of the list of schools that had active shooters and onto lists such as the safest campus to live on and study at.