On Feb. 14, 2018, Nikolas Jacob Cruz murdered seventeen people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl. by taking an AR-15 and shooting at former classmates, teachers and faculty.
There have been multiple school shootings this year alone and Parkland seems to be the tipping point for most Americans. People are questioning if their children are safe at school and when the next school shooting will be.
Timothy Finneran, the Chief of the Department of Campus Safety, was asked if Azusa Pacific University is prepared for the potential threat of an armed gunman.
“As the Campus Safety Chief for APU, I am engaged in the safety of the APU community each and every day. Our team, comprised of 26 full-time staff and 60 student community resource officers, are diligent in keeping APU safe and secure” Finneran said. “In addition to our team, APU has a unique program which involves employing a full-time Azusa Police Officer to provide an armed presence on campus. We are looking to expand this program in the future. APU provides active shooter training/drills, conducts annual evacuation drills and has a very robust electronic notification system which immediately alerts the community if there is an emergency situation.”
According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, 98 percent of all mass shootings have taken place in “gun free zones.” By employing a full-time Azusa Police Officer to provide an armed presence on campus, the school does not fall into that category.
“APU recently requested a security assessment conducted by an outside consultant. We are using this assessment to improve security on our campuses and have taken several important steps as we move forward,” Finneran said. “As a 33-year law enforcement veteran and APU alumni Dad, I take the safety of our university both professionally and, more importantly personally, very seriously. I pray for the souls lost in recent tragic events.”
Finneran takes this issue seriously and personally, as he is a father himself and would hate for any parent of an APU student to lose their child.
“DCS students [are] to remember to “Run, Hide or Fight” in an active shooter situation,” Finneran said. “DCS also recommends that all students have the DCS dispatcher phone number in their cell phones (626) 815-3898.”
If you are unfamiliar with the “Run, Hide or Flight” survival tactics please watch the following video for further knowledge: