Keeping Our Campus Safe
Keeping Our Campus Safe
Dear UCCS community,
Last Friday, we closed the UCCS campus out of an abundance of caution after threats were made against a community college system based in Denver. We were fortunate those threats were unsubstantiated — but this isn’t always the case.
There hasn't been a single week in 2022 without a mass shooting, and these tragedies hit close to home. One of our own faculty members grew up in Uvalde, Texas, where she attended Robb Elementary, and knows families affected by the mass shooting there this spring. Every day, lives are upended by gun violence, and they will never be the same.
Keeping our Mountain Lion community safe has always been, and always will be, our first priority. I have worked together with Clay Garner, Director of UCCS Police Operations, to bring several important matters to your attention.
First, at all times you are on campus, campus police are proactively working to keep you safe. UCCS Police officers receive extensive first-responder training throughout the year, regularly patrol campus and respond to potential threats. They continuously monitor the UCCS Police Dispatch line, which you can reach at (719) 255-3111. If you need guidance or emergency services, our police officers are available.
Second, additional resources are available if you would like to learn more about keeping yourself and others safe. If gun violence should occur near you, there are several potentially lifesaving actions you can take. Our police department has created a four-minute video to help you learn how to respond during an emergency. You can also schedule a training presentation for your department, class or unit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the UCCS Emergency Manager at (719) 255-3106.
Third, we cannot forget the role of human connection before, during and after a crisis. Research on the lives of more than 170 mass shooters has shown us that 80 percent of mass shooters are noticeably in crisis prior to their shooting. Almost all mass shooters tell at least one person of their plans. There are opportunities for intervention, if we are prepared. You can use Safe2Tell Colorado to anonymously report potential threats or any behaviors that concern you. You can also report campus concerns to UCCS Police.
We are fortunate to have incredible researchers and practitioners here at UCCS who offer resources to support us through difficult times. The Healing Division of the Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience can help individuals recover from trauma, stress and more.
One of the most important tools to reduce senseless tragedies, like mass shootings, is to disrupt the cycles of violence which cause them. The Hill Institute’s Community Training and Empowerment Division can help us all to deepen our understanding of how trauma affects us, and learn how to help others. In this way, education continues to be one of our most powerful tools to create a safer world.
Above all, we will continue to be vigilant to ensure the safety of all members of our campus community.
Director of UCCS Police Operations and Deputy Chief of Police