Students have expressed gratitude toward the campus police after an hour-long lockdown occurred at Oklahoma Christian University last week.
Sophomore Piper Dallmann said campus police seem to know exactly what to do.
“[The campus police] always seem to be where they need to be and they do their job well,“ Dallmann said. “As far as the protocols where I was at [during the lockdown], it seemed everyone knew what to do and people took it pretty seriously.”
Dallmann said the lockdown required immediate action.
“I got stuck in the band room. Everyone got on the floor and turned off the lights and there was no talking. It was slightly scary,” Dallmann said.
Dallmann said her feedback for the future would include providing students with more information in the beginning.
“More information needs to be sent out,” Dallmann said. “I understand it’s hard when you have such a large campus and so many rumors flying around, but a basic response would’ve been better than an immediate lockdown with no information.”
For junior Jace Dulohery, the lockdown also happened during everyday activity.
“I was in rehearsal, and we all ended up hunkering in a classroom with our heads down and the lights off,” Dulohery said. “Some people were laughing through it and some people were crying. It was absolutely wild.”
Dulohery’s advice for these situations is to work together and follow the protocols.
“Everyone needs to stay calm and work as a unit, try to keep rumors out of the forefront, focus on getting through whatever is happening and follow the procedures,” Dulohery said.
Greg Giltner, chief of campus police, said his department takes these types of threats very seriously.
“When a call comes in like what we had on Thursday, we have to take it seriously until we determine whether it’s a SWATTING call or a prank,” Giltner said. “Our protocol is to lock campus down until we can determine if there is a threat or not.”
Giltner said the most important thing to remember for instances like these is to listen to the notifications sent out by the school’s alert system.
“Once the text messages and emails come out, follow them immediately,” Giltner said. “Overall, the campus did a great job. The students and faculty did exactly what they were supposed to do.”
After a threat of violence was called in to Oklahoma Christian on Jan. 12, an initial email was sent out to the student body at 4:11 p.m., calling for a campus-wide lockdown. The precautions were not lifted until 5:19 p.m., when the police department confirmed the call was coming from out of state and nowhere near the school.
Neil Arter, Oklahoma Christian’s dean of students, spoke to the student body during chapel on Jan. 13.
“It was not a prank; it was a criminal act,” Arter said, regarding the incident. “A threat is a threat, and this was a serious threat. It was taken in a serious way.”
Arter went on to thank the student body for their cooperation and detail what the police department had to do in order to clear the lockdown.
“[We had to] contact a local judge and get permission to track the phone and see where it was coming from,” Arter said. “As well as check some areas which were mentioned or hinted to.”
Arter also sent out a survey link so students could communicate their experiences and ask questions about lockdown procedures.
The link to the Google form can be found here.