Local colleges on alert after Oregon shooting


    Jefferson State Community College tests its emergency alert system in the wake of campus shooting in Oregon.

    In the wake of the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, community colleges in Alabama are on high alert and looking at security measures to keep students safe.

    Students we spoke with believe there is only so much that can be done to keep them safe.

    Kenneth Murray and Jade Williams are stunned by what took place in Oregon. However, they feel Lawson State has security measures in place to keep them safe.

    "In high school I had to walk through metal detectors, but here, it's college. It's open, anyone can walk on campus," said Murray.

    Lawson State has the "COUGAR" alert system that sends texts, calls, e-mails and information to its 5,000 students about potential threats. The campus also has its own police force.

    "They patrol around, they walk around, and everything. I feel pretty safe," Murray said.

    Williams agrees, "I feel very safe knowing that the police are around us an protecting us."

    At Jefferson State Community College, officer Ray Channel says the college's police department trains for on campus shooters and other emergencies regularly. The college uses security cameras and a campus wide alert notification system as well.

    "There's an alert system in each building, where students and staff can be notified if they need to either get out of the buildings or lock the building down," Channel explains. "We never know when it's going to happen or where it's going to happen. But at least with the police department we have at this campus, we are able to try to be ready for that in case it happens."

    UAB and the University of Alabama also have their own campus alert systems and police force. ABC 33/40 also reached out to Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa to see what measures they have in place,but did not get a response.

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