Colleges in Connecticut always on alert for danger

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Some think the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon will start a new discussion about college security. Around Connecticut, however, that discussion has been going on for a while.

A quiet Thursday morning turned into a massacre on UCC’s rural Oregon campus. Police responded in minutes, but not before nine were killed, many more injured. It’s a nightmare no matter where you live. Newtown, Connecticut lived that nightmare almost three years ago when a gunman killed 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but do you remember all the scares on college campuses since then?

It was less than two years ago that a student at CCSU threw the campus into chaos by walking around in a Halloween costume with a fake gun and sword. The massive police response cost thousands of dollars.

Three weeks later, an anonymous caller said a shooter was on his way to Yale. SWAT teams combed the campus for hours. The University sent warnings to everyone to shelter in place. It turned out to be a hoax.

A few days later, however, a student armed with two guns, and who had rifle and ammunition in his car, showed up at the University of New Haven. He was quickly arrested and no one was hurt.

In September of 2014, a vague threat of a former student planning something “newsworthy” was enough to activate the emergency plan at Trinity College. Students said excellent communication by the college kept everyone apprised of exactly what was going on, which is exactly what schools want, and it’s why campuses are constantly upgrading safety equipment around campus, and upgrading their plans for how to deal with emergencies like we just saw in Oregon.

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