Colleges and universities across the country are taking a closer look at their security procedures. They want to find out if there are any additional things they can do to lessen the risk of violence on campus. News On 6 anchor Craig Day went to Security Detection, a Tulsa company that has provided security equipment for events around the world. He reports they've provided metal detectors and x-ray machines for such events as the Iraqi elections, Super Bowl and NBA All-Star game, and more colleges are starting to look into their products.
Security Detection, which has an office in Tulsa and two other U.S. cities, sends out high-tech security systems all over the world. Randy Smith was shocked when he heard about the massacre at Virginia Tech.
"Nobody plans on anything like this happening, but in our world today, it is becoming more and more frequent," said Smith.
Smith says security checkpoints on a college campus may not have prevented the Virginia Tech shootings because the campus is so large, and it likely wasn't practical to have checkpoints at every building.
"It's not a viable reality to protect every building on a campus as big as Virginia Tech or OU or OSU, but there are likely places on these campuses where they can implement some equipment," said Smith.
Smith says that could include safeguards for larger classrooms, assembly halls, auditoriums or stadiums.
"What they can do on most campuses and schools is protect the buildings with the most congregation of people," said Smith.
While implementing full scale security measures on campuses may be expensive, especially on large campuses, handheld wands may be the most cost effective way of adding security. The wands cost about $100 each. Other devices are more expensive, but Smith says if they're used in strategic locations, they might help and hopefully lessen the chances of any further violence on campuses.
After Columbine, many high schools added security features like perimeter fencing and metal detectors, but college campuses are just too big for that. The Virginia Tech campus is 2,600 acres. The average elementary or high school may only be five to 40 acres.
If you have family or a professional connection with Virginia Tech, the News On 6 would like to hear from you. Please contact us at 918-732-6105 or email the News On 6
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