Monday, September 24

Safety task force report emphasizes emergency training, notifications


The UCLA Campus Safety Task Force recommended that the university improve emergency-preparedness training and campuswide notifications for future emergencies such as shootings and natural disasters.

In a report released to students, faculty and staff Tuesday, the task force gave 21 recommendations to Chancellor Gene Block about making infrastructure improvements, increasing emergency training and improving campus communication.

Block and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh asked the task force to make recommendations after the June 1 murder-suicide, which left many students and professors confused about emergency protocols.

[Related: UCLA community reacts to confusion surrounding murder-suicide]

The task force is now dismantled because it has accomplished its goal with the completion and publication of the report, Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck said.

The first draft of the report was finished in mid-September, and the task force made a number of revisions until Oct. 10, said Stephen Yeazell, the task force chair and UCLA School of Law professor emeritus.

“Each of these (concerns) is a continuing responsibility,” the report said. “All members of the community must assume responsibility for their safety and that of others; this is not a task to be left solely to first responders.”

The task force analyzed assessments from campus officials, input from UCLA community members and results from a public forum held in September to create their recommendations, Yeazell added. The task force received about 12,000 comments through online questionnaires and emails from students, faculty and staff.

The task force also recommended that administrators develop an online and mobile application to outline emergency protocols, install more wireless network routers on campus and better inform people about counseling resources.

Additionally, the report suggested that officials mandate UCLA community members to provide their cell phone numbers for the BruinAlert system. There should also be additional alert systems in place for people who do not receive BruinAlerts, the report said.

Campus officials have already acted on some of the recommendations. For example, UCLA installed one-button locking systems for most of the general assignment classrooms. Remaining classroom locks will be installed by the end of the quarter.

Officials will also make plans based on an ongoing Homeland Security investigation, which is currently surveying facilities on campus to identify potential problems, Beck said.

Officials in the administrative vice chancellor’s office and the Academic Senate will be in charge of implementing the recommendations, Beck said. The office will publish updates about the recommendations at least once a quarter on its website.

“We hope the report will help us be better prepared to prevent some emergencies and better prepare to recover from them should they occur,” Yeazell said.

 

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