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Campus Life

Recent Events Reinforce Pacific’s Emergency Preparedness

Efforts of the Pacific Alert Team and other campus groups continually work to prevent crises, as well as to develop protocols to quickly and effectively respond to potential emergencies on all three campuses
Jan 10, 2013

Late Friday, the Stockton campus was placed on lockdown after an armed suspect in a car crash near campus ran from the scene. Immediately after Stockton police notified Public Safety of the incident and their search, information and updates were shared to the community through a series of emails via the Pacific Connect system. In recent weeks, the tragic Sandy Hook elementary school shooting left the community of Newtown, Connecticut, in shock and disbelief after 28 of its citizens (including 20 children) were killed by a lone gunman. Members of their community, as well as many K-12 schools and universities across the country, have also begun to look at what could be done to reduce the possibility of such incidents occurring and how to prepare and respond to emergencies that can and will occur in the future.

The University of the Pacific has been working hard over the last 10 years to reduce potential threats and respond to emergencies that could face the University and its surrounding communities. Last Friday's actions by the Pacific Emergency personnel demonstrated the effectiveness and the need for all these notification systems. While it is impossible to predict events such as occurred on Friday, or to fully prevent incidents like what occurred at Sandy Hook, the Pacific Alert Team and Pacific's Behavioral Intervention Team have developed several protocols, policies and procedures to deal with a variety of student concerns and emergency situations.

Policies and procedures are developed based on best practices and are designed to work in collaboration with the local police and fire departments near each of the University's three campuses as well as the county, state, and federal emergency management agencies.  The aim is to ensure that first responders are able to manage immediate emergency needs during a critical incident while also ensuring that the Pacific Alert Team is able to focus on coordinating resources to assist the campus community. 

As part of its emergency response plan, the Pacific Alert Team annually conducts tabletop training exercises and campus emergency simulations to test and ensure that the University is ready to respond to a crisis.  Several scenarios have successfully been practiced over the years including incidents involving active shooters, fire, flood, and earthquakes.  Another key element of the University's response plan is to ensure that all members of the Pacific community are aware of what they should do in an emergency and how they should respond. 

On the Pacific Alert Team website, you will find links to University emergency management resources that are available to you, information on how you will be notified and receive updates during a crisis, and suggestions on what you can do to keep yourself safe during an emergency:

  • About the Pacific Alert Team: Purpose, Guiding Principles, and Training
  • About the Behavioral Intervention Team
  • Employee Manual of Emergency Procedures and Policy Guidelines
  • Building Team Leaders
  • Counseling Services for Students
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Morris Chapel
  • Pacific Connect and Cisco Phone Notifications
  • Pacific Emergency Website

By working together, we can all strive to keep our students, faculty, and staff safe and secure. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact either of the co-chairs of the Pacific Alert Team:  

Mike Belcher, Director of Public Safety - mbelcher@pacific.edu
Steve Jacobson, Associate Vice President for Student Life - sjacobson@pacific.edu


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