MSU plans to update security, ‘reclaim our sense of safety’

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 2:52 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2023 at 6:26 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - University officials are planning security changes involving locks, cameras, and mandatory active violence intruder training.

Following input from public safety and campus leaders, students, faculty and staff, Michigan State University Interim President Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D., outlined several measures to further campus safety on Wednesday. Woodruff also announced the university will seek bids for an external after-action review of MSU’s response to the Feb. 13 shooting.

Related: Weeks after MSU shooting, community remembers victims and pushes for change

“The actions we are outlining today position us on a path to reclaim our sense of safety that was so violently taken away from our community,” said Woodruff. “These steps will provide more robust security on campus while better preparing our community to respond in these unfortunate situations.”

Improvements will focus on four areas: building access, classroom and door locks, camera coverage expansion and mandatory training.

Building access

Effective March 13, most buildings on the East Lansing campus will require key card access by current students, faculty or staff members from 6 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. the next day. Accommodations will be made for public events that take place on campus.

“I wish it didn’t have to be that way, but I’m glad they’re putting in more security measures,” said sophomore Eva Talberg.

Talberg was studying in the Human Ecology Building with the windows open when the shooting took place. She heard gunshots and screaming and when she saw students running, she knew she had to hide.

“We ran up to the fourth floor, which is like ID card only for landscape architecture students,” Talberg said.

Door locks

The university will begin outfitting 1,300 classrooms on campus with an appropriate lock system that allows instructors to secure classrooms while maintaining building and fire code compliance and allowing first responders to enter the spaces in the event of an emergency. University leaders identified the fall 2023 semester as the goal to have this measure in place. Other doors outside of classroom settings may also be considered for additional safety measures.

Camera expansion

MSU will expand its camera network of more than 2,000 to include additional cameras throughout campus, including academic buildings and Green Light phones already on campus, to provide adequate monitoring coverage. Simultaneously, MSU Police and Public Safety is proceeding with its project to centralize the oversight of all cameras and security systems.

Mandatory training

While the university has voluntary active violence training available through MSU Police and Public Safety, it will begin requiring all students, faculty and staff to complete active violence intruder training starting this fall.

Acknowledging the university’s recent reaccreditation for emergency response, MSU Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police Marlon Lynch noted that part of the emergency response process is an after-action evaluation through MSU Police and Public Safety’s Emergency Management Division.

Additionally, MSU will soon request proposals for an external, third-party review of the university’s response. The third-party report will result in recommendations that will be made public.

“Our security portfolio is multifaceted, and we’re constantly evaluating improvements and changes — seen and unseen — that strengthen safety on campus,” said Lynch. “The actions we’ve outlined today, combined with internal and external reviews, position our university to be safer, more secure and better prepared into the future.”

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