SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Campus is where Syracuse students live their lives. They’re here daily — walking to class, meeting friends or just enjoying the sun.
And this tranquil space could be the site of more headlines, more grief and yet another mass shooting.
The job of policing a campus of 22,000 plus people is hard enough on it’s own. But for Anthony Callisto Jr. and SU’s Department of Public Safety, the job goes beyond much more than that. In a country with more guns than people, it seems the next mass shooting is always right around the corner. And it’s Callisto and the rest of the department’s job to be prepared for that contingency.
According to the Pew Research Center, gun deaths are on the rise in the United States. Callisto says this is why preparedness needs to be discussed. He likened the process to airline safety briefs.
“The flight attendants, before the plane even takes off, go through a security briefing,” Callisto said. “They let you know what to do in the event of an emergency or a crisis on that plane. They’ll let you know how to get the floating devices. They talk to you about the oxygen masks dropping and they let you know that you have to follow the instructions of the folks in the leadership roles, the flight attends on the plane. The walk through that every time.”
The “Run, Hide, Fight,” plan is part of DPS’s readiness plan. It’s an easy to remember guide for students caught in a horrific moment. If you can create distance, you should, Callisto said. If that’s not possible, hide in the building you’re in and be prepared to fight.
Callisto urges students to report anything suspicious, either by calling or using the LiveSafe mobile app.
“In that system, students can even send us video, audio or still images of things they might see that are suspicious directly to our dispatch center,” Callisto said.
Callisto said DPS has a memorandum of understanding with multiple other agencies to respond accordingly to a shooter, but declined to comment on specifics of the plan.
Regardless, if the unimaginable happens, Callisto and his team are ready to respond.