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Ohio State University Emergency Response

In the past few days and weeks, we have received several requests for information on OSU's ability to respond to a similar emergency events on campus. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the systems that are in place to help provide a safe and secure learning environment for the OSU community.

Students, parents, faculty and staff can be confident in the security levels and emergency management plans for the Ohio State University campus.

OSU Police

The Ohio State University Police Division (OSUPD) continues to be a leader among our peers in prevention, preparedness and response to crime. Officers are armed and fully certified with law enforcement arrest authority.

University Police are well prepared with training, equipment, and technology to respond appropriately and effectively to an incident such as those which have taken place at Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech.

Ohio State University Police are one of the few campus police agencies in the country with a Special Response Team (SRT), sometimes commonly referred to as SWAT. Officers assigned to SRT have additional equipment and expertise and train monthly on responding to various emergencies.

With a focus on prevention, OSUPD has partnered with Counseling and Consultation Services and Judicial Affairs on a program for faculty and staff titled, "Dealing with Disturbed and Disruptive Individuals". This groundbreaking program assists faculty and staff with identifying potential threats and instructs them on how best to respond.

University Police work in concert with Student Affairs, Judicial Affairs, Human Resources and others to identify any individuals that may pose a threat to themselves or others in the university community.

The Student Safety Service provides students with safe transportation in the general campus area during evening and early morning hours. These trained, uniformed students will walk or drive students to and from their destination within the service area and carry radios for direct contact with University

These students also assist in identifying and advise police of observed criminal or suspicious activity and/or potential campus safety issues.

Finally we have a close partnership with other law enforcement agencies; the Columbus Police Division, Franklin County Sheriff and Ohio Highway Patrol. Should the need arise these agencies will immediately respond if called to assist.

OSU Security and Public Safety Communications

OSU Security works with OSU Police, Student Affairs, OSU Libraries and many others to provide a trained security force in many buildings throughout campus. This trained security force helps supplement our Police Department by providing security services to various residence halls, academic buildings and other OSU buildings.

OSU Public Safety Communications plays an important part in campus safety by monitoring all of the security cameras on campus, monitoring the fire and security alarms, answering all 9-1-1 and calls from our emergency "blue light" phones, then dispatching Police, Fire & EMS whenever an emergency exists on campus.

OSU Emergency Management & Fire Prevention

OSU Emergency Management is responsible for writing, testing and reviewing emergency preparedness plans for all hazards on campus. One of our priorities is to work with other university departments and create a detailed emergency notification plan. Working with University Relations, Office of the CIO, University Police and many others, we have developed a comprehensive plan to communicate to our students, faculty and staff in the event of an emergency.

The backbone of this plan is the Buckeye Alert. Buckeye Alert is a tool that can notify thousands of people in minutes via text and voice messages on their cell phones. Emergency messages will only be sent to the campus community if Public Safety officials determine that our campus community needs to take immediate action to preserve their personal safety. Information provided during registration will not be used for any purpose other than the Buckeye Alert.

Additional, redundant methods of communicating in an emergency have been developed. These include email, campus phone notification, WOSU, local media and OSU's cable TV system.

We are currently researching other methods that are available to improve our ability to communicate to you in an emergency. If you have not already registered for the Buckeye Alert, please take a couple of minutes and go to www.buckeyealert.osu.edu and register your cell phone number. It is easy, quick and free!