Seattle University has launched a comprehensive review of how the school handled an on-campus incident Wednesday afternoon.
A man in a trench coat stormed into a classroom and acted erratically. The professor pressed a panic button to alert campus security as students frantically walked out in fear.
While Seattle Police arrested the 38-year-old man, there are questions about why the campus wasn’t locked down.
“It’s an incident we take very seriously at the university,” said Scott McClellan, Vice President of Communications.
Despite having a sophisticated alert system, school officials waited nearly three hours to alert the campus about the incident.
“We’re looking into how the facts were, how the response happened and how it occurred,” said McClellan.
Nearby at Seattle Central Community College, campus security officials say the idea is act now, ask questions later.
“If you pick up a campus phone and dial 911, we have a program set up through our district office that will automatically notify the computers in our office and the cell phones that my officers carry,” said Elman McClain, the campus safety/security director.
When that happens, a multi-tiered alert system of emails, text messages and announcements goes out to everyone.
“If you’re prepared for anything than you’re prepared for everything,” said McClain.
The University of Washington Police Department briefs students about safety measures during orientations.
“They basically tell us not to confront them and call the police,” said Risa Wampler, a student.
Students are taught to listen to their sixth sense.
“To flee from something that’s happening or it may be to shelter yourself in a place that’s safe and secure,” said Steve Rittereiser, UW Police Commander.
While Seattle University’s incident turned out fine, it’s caused the school to become the student.
“You learn from incidents like this,” said McClellan.
The intruder was charged with criminal trespassing.