Ohio State Beefs Up Response Plans After November Attack

Apr 10, 2017

Ohio State University will reconfigure its automated response system for campus crises after last year's car-and-knife attack exposed problems with the text-message system.

In November, after a student drove into a group of students and faculty with his car and attacked people with a knife, the school sent a "Run, Hide, Fight" message to students and employees.

A report that studied the attack, which injured more than a dozen people, found some campus contractors and visitors weren't aware of automated campuswide alerts to seek shelter.

The report by the Ohio State Department of Public Safety and obtained by The Associated Press also found that too much time passed between automated alerts, and that the initial alerts lacked specifics about the attack.

After gunshots were heard from the officer who shot and killed the student, Ohio State Emergency Management seemed to alert people of a shooter with its initial tweet: "Buckeye Alert: Active Shooter on campus. Run Hide Fight. Watts Hall. 19th and College." The incident lasted less than a minute, and it later was revealed the attacker only had a knife. Nobody was killed.

Ohio State's report also found that communication between safety personnel and top university officials was cumbersome and some outside police departments weren't aware an "all-clear" message had been sent.

The report makes several recommendations for changes that the university is reviewing.