School Safety In Smaller Colleges

A practice in learning from others

POSTED: 04:39 PM MST Dec 07, 2012 
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

When a Casper College instructor was killed by his son in front of his class, there wasn't much security could have done to stop it. That is according to safety experts.

Police say Christopher Krumm attacked his father , James, with a compound bow and knives, and then killed himself. Police in Casper also say Krumm killed his father's girlfriend, Heidi Arnold.

Other small colleges at the nation wide level use tragedies like the one in Wyoming to determine if their safety plan needs a change.

That is the case at Colorado College. Campus Safety officials there are unarmed, much like at Casper College.

"We are always looking at emergency preparedness. How we communicate, for instance, with the Colorado Springs Police Department and how we communicate with the community," said Pat Cunningham, the director of campus safety at Colorado College.

Safety officials at CC have a very close relationship with CSPD, and said they also work closely with security or police at other universities and colleges in Colorado. This is done with the goal of learning from each other, and learning about new ways to keep students safe, said Cunningham.

The bottom line is that security officials at CC and in other schools in Colorado Springs use tragic events at other schools as a learning experience for themselves.

"It is always a good time to look internally and say what can we look at here to improve our process, and really try to learn from the experiences of others," said Cunningham.

Safety experts at the nationwide level say schools with unarmed security are just as ready to respond to a violent event as schools with armed police officers.