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robert orr

The First Seven Minutes

Spring/Summer 2013

A crisis team panel consisting of TU faculty, staff, and the Tiffin Police Department, developed a presentation that addresses various issues that arise during the first seven minutes of a campus shooting incident.

Moderated by Dr. Robert Orr, Dean of TU’s School of Criminal Justice and Social Sciences, the team’s goal was to educate school administrators to handle similar situations such as the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary, by addressing issues that arise from choices school officials make.

Panelists pointed out the importance of having a security plan and an emergency response plan in place, as well as being able to effectively manage communication, especially with first responders.

Orr stated that the main message is to think through problems ahead of time and work with faculty and staff so everyone knows what do.

Dr. Jan Samoriski, TU Professor of Communication, spoke about the ideal communication tactics through traditional and new media that should occur within the first seven minutes of an on-campus shooting incident. “Have a communication plan with as many different possibilities and eventualities as you can and then have a back-up,” he said.

During his presentation, Dr. Scott Blough, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Security Studies, addressed the controversial idea of allowing armed faculty on campus as a possible defense strategy while Jennifer Boucher, Director of Campus Safety, outlined the procedures that should be followed on a campus including an emergency response plan, an alert system, a response team, faculty and staff training, and a memo of understanding.

Tiffin Police Officer Doug Skornieka advised the audience on how school or university officials should plan cooperative efforts with their local police department to ensure that an on-campus shooter is neutralized as soon as possible. “Everybody has responsibility,” he said.

They presented at this year’s University Risk Management and Insurance Association’s (URMIA) Midwestern Regional Conference in Columbus, Ohio in May.