WESTWOOD—UCLA has implemented several new campus safety initiatives, including an updated protocol for active shooter incidents, in light of the June 2016 murder-suicide of Professor William Scott Klug.
Klug was shot on June 1, 2016 by Mainak Sarkar, 38, a former UCLA Ph.D student who he had taught, inside the Engineering IV Building, part of the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.
On June 8, 2016, a week after the shooting, UCLA officials created a Campus Safety Task Force, dedicated to helping students and staff “better prepare for and, where possible, prevent emergencies that are unfortunately likely to occur on the campus in the future,” according to a report published in September 2016.
Over the past three months, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has trained more than 400 faculty members; worked to develop a 90-minute “Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Preparedness” training seminar; and conducted student preparedness training that includes a section on active shooters, the Daily Bruin reported.
Emergency locks were installed in 192 assignment classrooms. When pressed, a button on the lock flashes red to verify the door is inaccessible from the outside, the Bruin reported. The campus-wide electronic emergency alarm, the “Bruin Alert System,” was updated with a two-way communication system, which includes a numerical emergency response receipt, allowing students to share their status during emergencies. For example, responding to a Bruin Alert with “1” indicates “I’m safe,” and “2” indicates “I’m not safe.” UCLA’s OEM will contact individuals who are unsafe to determine their location, situation and course of action.
The OEM will release a new app called “Bruin Safe” in the coming weeks, which will enforce protocol and enhance community awareness with safety features, such as a GPS locator, where friends can track one another and alert authorities if they disconnect.
“Most often people wait for an incident to occur to express interest in emergency preparedness,” Lorraine Schneider, an emergency management training specialist at OEM told the Bruin. “We are working on reaching more students via hands-on workshops, [Community Emergency Response Team] training and activities.”