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In the Shadow of Slaughter

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 36 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2009 Pages: 32,34,37
Tabatha Wethal
Date Published
June 2009
5 pages
This article explores a model for campus security through lessons learned from a shooting at Northern Illinois University (NIU).
On February 14, 2008, a gunman opened fire on a NIU geology class, shooting 21 people, killing 5. The cooperative public safety system in place at NIU, planning, and some luck combined to enable police, fire, and EMS personnel to swiftly respond, secure the scene, and ultimately treat and transport victims in enough time to save lives. In incidents of spontaneous violence, not much can be done to predict or interdict a gunman prior to shooting. But what can be garnered from the incident at NIU is that a swift response by prepared police and safety personnel can make all the difference in saving lives and reducing injury. The cooperation between police, fire, and EMS can give the community some peace of mind, knowing that though they cannot control a gunman if shooting erupts, they can respond to the situation in a quick and controlled manner that gives citizens a sense of safety, even in the wake of violence. Details of the NIU campus security model are discussed in detail.