The Emergency Steering Committee (ESC) has decided to install defensive devices known as “Bearacades” in all classrooms to protect students from an intruder in the event of an active shooter situation. The devices were installed in classrooms in Kauke and Taylor Halls over Fall Break, and more will be placed in other classrooms in the coming weeks.
By the end of this process, every classroom on campus and several office suites will be outfitted with the door barricades as the College works to improve its emergency response procedures.
The Bearacade Door Control System is designed to slide under any door and is held in place using a pin that is inserted through the device and into a hole in the ground.
Steve Glick, director of Security and Protective Services (SPS), described the apparatus as “fairly simple to use. You slide the device under the door until it hits the stop. Then you insert the pin into the pre-drilled hole in the floor. That’s all there is to it.”
In Wooster classrooms, the devices have been hung on hooks on the wall near the doorway, and small holes have been drilled in the floor to allow the pin to be inserted properly. Bearacades prevent intruders from entering the room without requiring any change to the doors themselves — the device is not part of or attached to the door and would only be used in an emergency.
SPS also hopes that the installation of barriers will act as a deterrent.
“We are trying to make it difficult for someone with bad intentions, but it is not a panacea,” explained Glick.
The devices each cost $49 according to the Bearacade Door Control System website. The company, which is run out of Hudson, Ohio, explains on its website, “Quickly and effectively barricading a door allows time for police response, protects the occupants inside, and, potentially, saves lives.”
The decision to install these new devices came only weeks after colleges across the country received a series of threatening phone calls that claimed a shooting was imminent. Although no such incident occurred, the College sent out an email explaining to students what they should do in the event of an emergency. The procedures included barricading doors, turning off lights and sheltering in place.
Further trainings will also be provided to faculty, staff and students in the coming weeks. Many members of the College faculty and staff have already received emergency response training, known as ALICE training. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate — the purpose of the training is to teach individuals what to do in an active shooter situation or other emergency.
Amy Burroughs, an area director in the Office of Residence Life, underwent the training in September.
“ALICE training is more of a mental awareness of how to handle yourself in an active shooter type situation,” she said. “It’s to get people in the mindset of ‘be prepared.’ The more knowledge you have, the less time you spend in panic mode and the more time you spend in response mode.”
Upcoming ALICE trainings, which will be offered by the Wooster Police Department, will be made available to some students and will include training on how to use the Bearacade devices.