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SPS tests emergency alert system for campus

Claire Montgomery

Senior News Writer

On Sept. 5, the campus community received an email from Joe Kirk, associate director of Security and Protective Services (SPS), stating that the College would be testing its emergency notification system. The following day, an email was sent by Steve Glick, director of Security and Protective Services, informing the campus about the results of the test.

“After our test Wednesday afternoon of the College’s emergency notification system (Connect Blackboard), I am happy to report that 99 percent of the contacts listed received either an email, a text or both.  We did not test the phone response during the test,” Glick said. He added that the system is usually tested once a month, but a second test will be conducted on Sept. 19. Again, the campus community will receive an email before the test.

Glick responded to questions about the tests, specifically in regards to the system being tested once a month.

“The point of testing once a month is to make sure the system is working properly and everyone is getting the alerts. We might want to test for a particular part of the system; for instance we didn’t test the phone alerts this time around. The members of the Emergency Response Team are reminded of our monthly meetings by the test; again to make sure everything is working properly. It also allows our dispatchers the opportunity to use the system so our staff stays familiar with the system.” He also added, “We were testing once a month but fell behind last year,” when asked to elaborate on previous year’s system tests.

There are national guidelines about emergency alerts that schools are required to follow, which Kirk expanded upon.

“There are national guidelines through the Campus Crime Act (known as the Clery Act) in which schools are required to give timely warning for incidents that are an ongoing threat, whenever the incident is serious and there are actionable steps that community members can take. As our staff works every day, we work to monitor radio traffic of what the police [are] dealing with near our campus as well as rely on the Wooster Police Department to communicate threats that are in our area to us.”


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