MARIETTA — Kennesaw State University and Chattahoochee Technical College officials said Friday they do not anticipate
making any immediate changes to their respective safety procedures in the wake of
Thursday’s shooting at an Oregon community college. But they would be examining the
details surrounding the incident to determine how they can improve their protocols.
Authorities say a 26-year-old man opened fire in a classroom at Umpqua Community College
in Roseburg, Oregon, killing nine and injuring nine others. The victims ranged in
age from 18 to 67 and included several students and a teacher.
Campus safety officials at Kennesaw State and Chattahoochee Tech say their police
departments already have active shooting protocols in place, but that they would be
studying details of Thursday’s incident to see if those policies could be improved.
“Anytime a situation like that happens, you’re going to always talk with your own
officers about it because it’s such a newsworthy thing,” said Charles Spann, chief
of police and director of public safety for Chattahoochee Tech.
The training Chattahoochee Tech officers go through, Spann said, includes on-campus
active shooter scenarios, with the last one held about three months ago at the college’s
Paulding campus in Dallas.
Three of Chattahoochee Tech’s eight campuses are in Cobb County. Its Marietta campus
is on South Cobb Drive, while its Mountain View Campus is also in Marietta, on Gordy
The Austell campus, located on Veterans Memorial Highway, is the only campus that
has not hosted an active shooter training scenario, Spann said, but would likely be
the site of the next one.
Spann said his department has also assisted other Georgia technical colleges in getting
their officers trained in active shooter scenarios.
“That’s how much we do it,” he said.
Deputy Chief Edward Stephens of KSU Police said his department incorporates active
shooter training into its new officer training. Officers also go through additional
drills throughout the year.
“We constantly evaluate what we’re doing for patrol, and I hope to think we’re staying
vigilant anyway with our housing areas, with all of our buildings, parking lots and
everything,” Stephens said.
KSU’s police force has 60 officers when at full strength, Stephens said, though the
department is currently trying to fill a few openings and in the process of training
several new officers. The force is responsible for the safety of two campuses — the
college’s main campus in Kennesaw and its campus in Marietta, which was formerly Southern
Polytechnic State University.
KSU officers, he added, have worked on drills and several different scenario-based
trainings with neighboring police departments — Kennesaw, Marietta and Cobb police.
“We know what our responses would be, and we have (memorandums of understanding) in
place to provide mutual aid to each other,” Stephens said, adding one instance of
KSU officers providing mutual aid was last year’s shooting at a Kennesaw FedEx facility.