If It Happens Here: Roosevelt Security Trains To Be Prepared

By Fiona Moran
Staff Reporter


High schools are usually the targets of shootings. Photo courtesy of Roosevelt University.

Two men were killed and two others wounded in a shooting that happened inside a car that crashed outside the Congress Plaza Hotel, in the early morning hours of Monday, Oct. 1. The fifth passenger in the car was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder. No-one outside of the car was hurt.

The car was driving south down Michigan Avenue and passed by Roosevelt University before it crashed into a planter outside of Congress Hotel. After the crash, one person entered the hotel and was stopped by hotel security, according to a statement on-scene from the Chicago Police Department Officer of News Affairs.

In light of this event and other crimes near campus, the director of security Tony Parker and Assistant Director Mike Pizana discussed what training and protocols they have prepared in case of an event such as an active shooter and other dangers presented to the campus.

In the event of an active shooter, Parker and Pizana explained that security personnel would place the school under lockdown and activate the RAVE alert system, which would send an emergency alert via school electronic bulletins, email and sms to students, faculty, surrounding campuses and buildings and the Chicago Police Department.

A lockdown would mean closing one of the main entrances to the school in order to control traffic and get a headcount of students. It also prevents any non-essential persons from walking into an active shooter event unawares.

“You don’t want people to come in to a bad situation,” Parker said. According to the assistant director, Pizana, the most recent lockdown drill was held last July and that Roosevelt has been performing active shooter drills for, “about 5 or 6 years now.”


Biggest college shooting in history in the States is Virginia Tech. Photo courtesy of Roosevelt University.

Assistant Director Parker also spoke about the level and nature of training that security officers receive, mentioning that the security office had just returned from an awareness class taught by Detective Watson of the CPD. When asked how confident he was in the security team’s ability to respond to dangerous situations such as an active shooter, he replied, “Very confident…They’re very well trained, they exhibit enormous amounts of responsibility… they’re definitely ‘first responders,” Parker said.

Furthermore, the Department of Security is looking to expand its outreach within the school. Director Parker, who joined the Roosevelt security team this past August, spoke in detail about the department’s new training programs, not only for security personnel, but for all of Roosevelt. For the security officers, they will be attending a Department of Homeland Security intensive training in New Mexico that will teach them how to respond to bombs and IED threats.

The department is also planning on hosting monthly training seminars available for Roosevelt faculty and students from a number of agencies such as DHS and Chicago Transit Authority in order to educate the Roosevelt community on safety and preparedness. The seminars would include subjects on self defense, LGBT safety and how to deal with Immigrations and Customs enforcement safely.

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