On Wednesday, August 28, a report of a suspicious person near campus turned out not to be a credible threat, but our campus community experienced very real fear and anxiety. We learned valuable lessons that will improve our preparedness and response in the future.
I want to share with you some of what has already been done or is being planned in the immediate future:
Campus lockdown— We should have placed the campus on lockdown status in response to the incident last week. In the future, the campus will be placed on lockdown status in response to any report of a person with a firearm coming toward or on campus.
TEMA evaluation—At our request, the head of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency has agreed to review our emergency management policies and procedures to ensure we are following best practices and to determine areas where we can improve.
Campus training—We will present training sessions to educate faculty, staff and students on what happens in a campus lockdown and what is expected of everyone. We will also institute training sessions for an active shooter event and other similarly high-level threats such as a tornado warning, bomb scare, fire, or laboratory chemical mishap.
Rave alert signups—Steps will be taken to increase participation by the campus community in registering to receive Rave alerts.
Communication—We are working to improve policies and procedures to ensure we provide clear and timely information to the campus.
The process of evaluating our emergency management plan is ongoing and updates of progress will be forthcoming.