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Emma Hall uses a door lock in Jordan Hall room 201. Photo by Lily Wood.
FRANCIE WILSON | STAFF REPORTER | email@example.com
The Butler University Police Department hopes to have locks added inside all classroom doors by the end of this semester.
Since Spring 2018, BUPD has been working alongside Butler facilities and independent contractors to add locks to classrooms across campus. Locks were strategically added to the largest lecture halls such as Jordan Hall room 141 and Gallahue Hall room 107 first, followed by smaller classrooms and offices.
The type of lock greatly depends on the type of door. For doors with push bars a pin lock is used, while doors with ID scanners have a button inside that deactivates anyone from scanning in. Other doors have a lock that reads “locked” or “unlocked” from the inside.
BUPD Chief John Conley said the locks were added to increase safety on campus.
“The whole objective here was for a class to be able to lock down from the inside,” Conley said. “Just by what we know about active intruders and how they operate…most of the time they look for the path of least resistance, and they’re not gonna spend a lot of time trying to pry their way in or kick their way in a locked door.”
With school shootings making national headlines, including the shooting at Northern Illinois University and one at Noblesville West Middle School, BUPD is becoming more mindful that this could be a reality.
“This year when the school year started, we had a couple of really horrific events happen across the country with active shooters,” Conley said. “It raised the awareness and concern among staff, faculty, and students, too.”
BUPD trains for many situations that could be encountered on campus.
Anthony Rivera, BUPD assistant chief of operations, said preparation is important, in particular, when it comes to active shooter training.
“Nobody ever wants it to happen, but it’s irresponsible not to train as if it could,” Rivera said. “You want to be able to have the best response possible to save as many lives as you can.”
Another one of BUPD’s projects has been placing new emergency response plan placards inside all of the classrooms.
“If you have an emergency and you go to that placard and you look at it, it’s too late,” Conley said. “Everybody needs to know what that says before an emergency, so I encourage everyone to look at the rooms they are in. Do they have a door lock yet? And if they do, do you know how to operate it? And what does the placard say?”
In the last 10 years, at least 180 school shootings have taken place in the United States, so other schools and universities seem to be making this switch as well. Sometimes when the locks are purchased, it takes a while for Butler to receive them because they are on backorder. The locks are on backorder due to high demand in recent years.
“Butler University is very in tune to what its needs are to protect its students,” Conley said. “Since I have been here in five years, I have never had push back from the university for spending any money for anything that protects our students and our staff.”