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04/17/2007

Winthrop's Response to Virginia Tech's Mass Shooting

Quick Facts

 Winthrop University Police have heightened security vigilance in response to the April 16 shootings at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va.

(Editor's note: A gunman killed 30 people at Virginia Tech's Norris Hall on April 16 before turning the gun on himself. A shooting earlier in the day at one of the university's residence halls left two dead.)

ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Winthrop University community extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the students, families, faculty and staff of Virginia Tech, and to the community of Blacksburg, Va.

In light of these events, Winthrop University President Anthony DiGiorgio has directed campus police and all parties involved in security to heighten their vigilance for the foreseeable future. A heightened security vigilance means police, security personnel and building supervisors can be expected to challenge even routine visitors to any building, seek identification or take other measures if unknown parties or circumstances are encountered.

In a situation similar to the one at Virginia Tech, the Winthrop University Police Department would immediately contain the situation, while notifying appropriate officials to begin whatever safety measures are dictated by the circumstances as relayed by the officer on the scene.

Winthrop Police officials utilize the Incident Command System, which is required by the National Incident Management System to handle a critical incident. Under the Incident Command System, Winthrop would request mutual assistance from local and state law enforcement and utilize Unified Command to address the specifics of the given situation.

Because specifics of any situation will dictate the response, it is impossible to predict exactly what tactics would be used. However, the infrastructure to handle a critical incident is in place.

Concurrent with police and security activities, Winthrop would utilize existing communications modes available at the time (as dictated by the nature of the specific emergency) to keep students, parents and others apprised of the situation.

For more information, contact the Office of the President at 803/323-2225.


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