By Harry Rowe | Staff Writer
As students return to Baylor’s campus, the Department of Safety continues to make sure the community is safe with a combination of new awareness programs for burglary and a new active shooter course.
The Baylor Department of Safety is creating new programs to ensure students have the best experience on campus. A new program — the Hide it Lock it and Take it program, also known as the HLT program — encourages students to “hide it, lock it and take it.” This is in response to car burglaries that happened on and around campus.
“It’s a nationwide program, so you might see some of those signs, especially in all of our parking garages,” Baylor police chief Brad Wigtil said.
Leigh Ann Moffett, director of emergency management for the DPS, acknowledges that while there’s a higher volume of students in the fall, but that doesn’t mean the campus is ever empty in other times of the year.
Baylor also has measures to ensure that it can communicate well with students. Moffett says the notification system for sending out emergency alerts is checked every month of the year.
“We’re constantly looking to ensure that different resources that we have in place —should something occur — that those recourses all available and functioning as they should be, that in the event something significant did occur, we’re ready to go,” Moffett said.
New additions this year include 16 bleed control kits that are installed around campus in case of emergency.
“They are in key facilities throughout campus where we have high volume, and have a tendency to have a lot of public access as well,” Moffett said.
In expanding their training to the community as well, Baylor’s Department of Safety has created a Baylor Community Training Program. This allows students, faculty and staff to take courses that strengthen emergency preparedness. One of the courses available to the Baylor community is an active shooter class, which can be taken online through Canvas or in person to increase emergency preparedness in the event of a shooting.
“The premise behind the course is really to understand that there is not a specific type of person that can create an active attack, but it helps to paint the bigger picture of things to be aware of,” Moffett said. “…The course gives participants options of what they could do should something happen.”
School shootings are at an all time high. According to the New York Times, the Santa Fe shooting on May 18 was the tenth school shooting of this year. Being prepared for events like these could end up saving lives in one of these situations.
“If we’re not thinking through how we would respond to different events, then we’re not preparing our minds. We’re not creating that muscle memory, so to speak,” Moffett said. “… It’s really to help people understand that they’re responsible for their own personal preparedness, their own safety as well, and that they should feel empowered to take ownership of that.”
Baylor continues to implement safety programs and resources for people to learn about different methods of preparedness.