Emergency Management Case Study

1796 Words 8 Pages
On April 16th 2007 in Blacksburg, VA at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Seung-Hui Cho a senior at the university shot a total of 49 people, killing 32 of them, then proceeded to turn the gun on himself in one of the most disastrous school murder-suicides of all time. One of the most casualty producing school shootings of all time. The damage was the lives of the taken students and the psychological health of those at the university. Within this shooting there were two incidents. The first he had killed two people in a dormitory room, in West Ambler Johnston Hall, a residence housing about 900 students. He then left the hall and went to his room where he had changed clothes and rearmed himself. From there he moved to Norris Hall
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(Flynn, 2008.) Law enforcement agencies can only prevent to a certain degree with background investigations, however unless an offender has a previous record they are useless. In this instance it was the universities duty to deem Cho mentally unstable as they had the pertinent information to do so. Cho had been found to be a danger to himself or others by a justice of Montgomery County General District Court on December 14 2005 (Schaenman, 2009). Therefore under federal law, disqualifies him from being able to purchase a firearm
Campus Security and Emergency Management The emergency plan for VT calls for an official ‘ERC’ emergency response coordinator to ‘direct’ a response. It also calls for a command post ‘Emergency Operations Center’ (EOC) there had been multiple operation centers but not an actual EOC which was detrimental in planning and conducting action. There are two groups; The Policy Group and the Emergency Response Resources Group. Of which the policy group is in charge of supporting the emergency response and dealing with recovery procedures. In the ERRG the vice president is in charge of the incident, police officials and other agencies, put together by the
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A big deficiency on the emergency plan was it was not up to date, by any means. It had the wrong name for the police chief, did not include threat assessment teams, and the police were placed low in the ‘decision making hierarchy’ (Schaenman, 2009). The police agencies and security officials of the university did not believe that a lockdown of the university was even possible because of its size. There were no cameras in dormitory areas, leaving the identity of Cho unknown until found at the scene. The VTPD and BPD were trained and practiced active shooter scenarios. In my opinion the campus emergency planning as a whole was not ready even if the police departments were. It is a collaborative effort and the university staff was not prepared for such a situation. Within the emergency response plan of the university, it had not been reflected that the police department’s primary purpose was law enforcement (Schaenman, 2009). So as far as the emergency plan goes, the VTPD was not placed high enough in a decision making position. It was also clear the students and faculty of the university were not educated or prepared for an event such as this. No one really knew what to do. As discussed earlier, this event could have been prevented because it was clear Cho was a risk to himself and/or others. The emergency plan of VT did not deal with prevention of events, i.e., threat or risk

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