Pearson: Students should take alerts seriously, active-shooter drill upcoming
Oct 16, 2018
Chief Steve Pearson speaks to reporting students on Sept. 25. (Panther photo)
Claflin University’s chief law enforcement officer spoke on several security factors, including alerts and an active-shooter drill, at a press conference on Sept. 25.
Chief Steve Pearson first addressed recent crimes in the Orangeburg area -- both on South Carolina State University’s campus as well as in the general vicinity – about which Claflin students were notified via the campus alert system.
“Whenever there is a crime alert that goes out around the area, even if it’s a certain distance away, we try to let students know what’s going on, because by the time the incident happens and they notify us that it happened, a person even on foot can travel a certain distant,” Pearson said.
The campus system has sent out alerts regarding armed robberies, shootings and severe weather conditions, Pearson said. “What we try to do is to get students to take it seriously.”
Pearson said an active-shooter drill for the Claflin campus is in the development stages. It will include local law enforcement agencies and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
“We were trying to coordinate an active-shooter drill on campus. The only thing that was holding us back was Hurricane Florence and law enforcement from everywhere went down to the Myrtle Beach area near the coast,” Pearson said.
The active-shooter drill has already been tested at Lake Marion High School in Santee in March. It includes the simulation of sounds of sirens and gunshots, gun smoke, and people screaming and lying down, Pearson said.
“We’re trying to involve everyone because that’s the only way you’re going to actually experience it. … This is a large event. It takes a lot of planning on our part.”
Pearson also referenced new cameras around campus and organizing a male seminar about sexual assault.