A shooting on Thursday at Seattle Pacific University left one dead and two injured. It had ABC 17 wanting to know more about security at the University of Missouri – specifically how campus police protect students and staff on such a large, open campus.
MU Police said at least three officers patrol the campus at any given time. They are responsible for nearly 27,000 students on a campus larger than 1,200 acres. However, Captain Brian Weimer with the MU Police Department said it’s impossible to station an officer on every corner.
“Clearly we have only so many officers that can be out there in so many locations,” Weimer said. “There is no way we can be everywhere.”
The campus also uses security cameras, but Weimer said they only capture video and are not actively monitored. The active patrols had Ava Skyers, a student at Mizzou, concerned.
“Well, it’s such a large campus that I would hope that there were more than three officers on campus on any given day,” she said. “So, it’s a little scary just thinking that there’s only three.”
Weimer said even if an officer is around, all students should have their own plan for an active shooter situation.
“In other words, you need to always be thinking about what you can do in a situation like this because, you’re correct, it’s more than likely an officer will not be standing right beside you when something like this happens,” Weimer said.
Students tackled the shooter in Seattle and disarmed him while he reloaded his shotgun, but Skyers told ABC 17 she’ll take a more subtle approach if she’s ever in that situation.
“I really would just try and walk the other way calmly and completely avoid the situation,” she said. “I’d try to help everyone around me notice the situation and that there might be something unstable with that person.”
Weimer encourages encourages students, faculty and staff to participate in an active threat course on campus called CRAT, or the Citizens Response to Active Threat. He said it is up to the person caught in that situation to decide whether they want to escape or put up a fight.
MU campus, as well as all college campuses in Missouri, are mandated by state law as gun-free.