In Wake Of Shooting, Are Your Kids Safe? - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/17/2007-Tyler

In Wake Of Shooting, Are Your Kids Safe?

The situation at Virginia Tech sent shock waves across America, making many parents ask the question: "Is my child safe on campus?"

KLTV 7 went to an East Texas college to see what safety measures are in place and how schools can prepare.

"Our institutions are so open and so accessible, and that's the way we want them to be. The tradeoff would be that they are open and accessible to anyone," said Tyler Junior College President, Bill Crow.

"It can happen anywhere no matter how much security you have. We have a lot of security here and anybody can bring a gun into the dorms without anybody knowing it,"
said David Cunningham, TJC student.

David Cunningham knows this type of situation well, he was a football player at Canton High school in 2005, when a disgruntled parent shot and wounded football coach Gary Kinne.

"The shooting happened and we were in lockdown. So, it brings back memories because the same thing happened at our school," remembered Cunningham.

So what are the school's to do? "Have quality people working in your police department that are well trained and keep up with their professional development and study cases like this Virginia Tech case," said Crow.

In addition, security cameras are all over campus, and police patrol 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"The way that most students get in is there slide key," said Royce Eller, Tyler Junior College Sophomore.

University IDs are used to access the residence halls at multiple checkpoints leading up to the room.

"As you can see that's our second line of measure. Lets take a look at your third door," said Eller said.

"I's the exact same as going into a hotel. It's the same system as that. I walk in and out everyday I don't know probably like 20 or 30 times a day," said Cunningham.

Tyler Junior College President and former campus Police Chief Bill Crow tells KLTV 7 it is tough balancing the freedom of college with security. "You hope that systems and procedures are in place to respond as best you can and that you are doing everything you can to prevent it and hope and pray for the best," said Crow.

As these students know now, hope and prayer aren't bullet proof.

UT Tyler has a similar security measures in place. They also have a no weapons policy on campus.

Danielle Capper, reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

 

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