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Connecticut universities examine safety protocol in light of OSU attack

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NEW BRITAIN -- Campus security is on the minds of students, educators and law enforcement across the country after an alarming attack at Ohio State.

Students at Central Connecticut State University said the attack really hit home.

"I honestly started to get upset because it happens way too much and, like, that could have easily been us here," freshman Ivie Enagbare said. "It just makes me very paranoid that stuff like this happens as common as it does."

Enagbare said if an attack were to happen on her campus, she wouldn't know what to do.

"We do get the emails after something like that happens, the CCSU PD has their own protocols for what they would do then," student Mark Ifill-Haney said. "But, as far as the students go I feel like we're kind of left hanging."

In light of Monday's attack, the Connecticut State Police reissued a plan that has become a common mantra on college campuses across the country: "Run, hide, fight."

It's the same phrase Ohio State Emergency Management tweeted out during the incident.

It's a motto the University of Hartford also shares with its students, only Public Safety Assistant Chief Michael Kaselouskas said he doesn't believe they should be done in that order, saying it should be situation based.

Asst. Chief Kaselouskas is pushing the importance and effectiveness of being prepared for any scenario.

"Just mental preparation, imagining yourself being in one of those situations," he said. "Just have a plan in the environment they're in, knowing that environment, knowing what an escape route is, knowing if you have to hide, where would you hide and if you had to fight you know having that preparation to do that."

He said public safety put on training sessions for students and staff, the same training he shares with other universities.

University of Hartford Public Safety's nearly 50 officers take part in drills on campus, practicing on their home turf; preparing not just for active shooters but for any incident.

UHart is one of many schools that uses text messages and social media to communicate, and the university plans to roll out a new app in the spring so students can communicate with police. Specifically, it will allow students to send live videos, pictures and messages straight to public safety.

"It’s our community that makes us safe, reporting to us working as a community together that's what keeps us safe," Kaselouskas said.

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