With the 318 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year, being prepared is the top priority of ORU’s Department of Public Safety and Security.
“You can’t predict when something’s going to happen—when someone is going to walk into a church and start shooting people—but you can try to be prepared to respond, and that’s what I’m trying to do,” said DPSS Director Bill Hunt.
Before he came to ORU six years ago, Hunt served as a police officer, a detective and a U.S. Marshal. He became the director of ORU’s DPSS a year and a half ago. As director, continually training ORU’s officers is of the utmost importance to him.
All DPSS officers are armed, trained, certified and licensed by the State of Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET). They are also required to show proficiency with firearms on a shooting range.
Hunt himself makes sure to keep up with his training, regularly attending conferences and training sessions, including campus safety seminars conducted by the FBI.
“It keeps me up on all of the modern technology and the most recent procedures and protocols,” said Hunt. “Even one well trained officer can make a difference in an emergency scenario.”
This principle was seen in action during an attack on students at Ohio State University in 2016. The first campus officer to respond was able to end the attack less than two minutes after it began.
“We rely on all members of our community to be proactively involved in the reporting of any observed suspicious behavior. Basically, ‘if you see something, say something,” said Hunt. “All students, faculty and staff should program our number—918-495-7750—into their cell phones, so if they see something happening, they can immediately report it to us.”
He also encourages everyone on campus to sign up for e-alerts, a program that will send out mass email, text and phone calls in the case of an emergency, whether that be a natural emergency like a tornado or a more violent emergency situation. However, in order for this system to be effective, students, staff and faculty have to sign up for the service at DPSS.oru.edu.
“I take great pride in the fact that we’ve been ranked one of the safest campuses in the state and the region,” said Hunt.