Thanks to Campus Security, Elizabethtown College will begin the new year with increased protection in the event of an active shooter.
Over the winter break, members of Campus Security installed door-securing devices in classrooms across campus.
These devices will help prevent an intruder from gaining access into classrooms.
While they are not fail-safe, they will equip College faculty, students and staff with another tool to discourage intruders.
These devices sprung from the need for a more efficient way to barricade classroom doors in the event of an active shooter.
Director of Campus Security Andrew Powell explained that most doors cannot be locked without a key; therefore, it may be difficult to secure a room in case of an emergency.
In classrooms with a regular door handle, Campus Security placed long lengths of steel cable, which are comprised of a large loop and a carabiner.
To operate the device, someone must simply place the loop around the doorknob and attach the carabiner to the newly installed eyehook on the side of the doorframe.
After the device is in place, the door cannot be opened from the outside.
Campus Security sent out a three-minute instructional video regarding the devices during the first week of classes.
This type of device does not work for all doors on campus.
Some doors are designed with a “panic bar” instead of a regular door handle, which means that the door opens as a metal arm extends and contracts at the top of the frame.
To secure this type of door, Campus Security has developed a second device.
These classrooms are now equipped with “sleeves” that fit over the metal arm at the top of the door, thus preventing it from extending and opening the door.
Powell warned that while these devices are effective, they do not guarantee safety.
It is possible that the devices will become broken or comprimised, allowing an active shooter to gain entry to the room.
In the event of an active shooter, he recommends that students and professors still barricade the door and prepare to counterattack if the room is breached.
If an emergency situation arises, the best course of action is to contact 911. Campus Security can also be reached at extension 1111.
Regardless, the devices will act as a deterrent.
“We hope that you never have to use these devices,” Powell said in the video. “But in the event that there is an active shooter, know that they’re available to help.”
If one of these devices is missing or broken, contact Campus Security as soon as possible.
Further questions can also be directed to Campus Security.