Campus security

King’s steps up lockdown training

With another school shooting in the U.S., the university is working to match efforts at other local institutions

The University of King's College is working to improve campus safety with a new training program
The University of King’s College is working to improve campus safety with a new training program   Sean Mott

One university in the province is working to increase its crisis readiness, as yet another  school shooting in the United States makes the headlines.

The University of King’s College is introducing a new training program  about the lockdown procedure at the school.

Alex Doyle, the university’s director of facilities, says the institution will begin training patrol staff, the student-run security team, within the next two to three weeks. It will then train faculty and administrative staff.

Currently, King’s provides no training to faculty and staff on lockdown procedures. Patrol members receive some information on what to do in an emergency, including lockdowns, when they are initially trained.

The university is catching up with other post-secondary institutions in the city.

Kathleen Cameron, a spokesperson for  the Nova Scotia Community College, says the school offers a safety orientation for all students and staff, and has a lockdown drill each year, co-ordinated with local police. In case of a lockdown emergency, it has a public address system and an email system to alert the campus community.

Saint Mary’s University also has a PA system to alert the campus to emergencies, and outlines the lockdown procedure, with an instructional video, on their campus life website. A spokesperson was not available for comment on the procedures.

Dalhousie University offers security and the Dal Alert program, which informs students and staff of emergencies through text messaging and email. The university also began planning a new online education program outlining safety procedures after a lockdown on two of the campuses last October, and a spokesperson had said it would be out shortly. A security official at Dalhousie says the program is still in development, but is not online. A university spokesperson did not return calls.

Dalhousie security staff are working with King’s to introduce their training program, Doyle says.

The last school shooting in Canada was at the University of Alberta in 2012, when three armed guards were killed and one critically injured at HUB Mall, a student residence and mall.