10 years after VT massacre, college campuses continue to increase security


    Averett just rolled out a new national app for their students to use in light of Virginia Tech massacre (Photo: Kelsie Metzgar)

    DANVILLE, Va. (WSET) - Ten years after the Virginia Tech massacre, local universities are continuing to amp up their security measures.

    It's a continual process at Averett university.

    "The tragedy at Virginia Tech 10 years ago changed the ways that universities have to consider their safety and security. It really brought attention to issues that can happen on campus," Averett University's director of marketing and communications, Cassie Williams Jones, said.

    Averett's threat assessment team, risk management committee, incident response team, and emergency management team are consistently training for the "what if" moment.

    "There's so much to be said about preparation and not being surprised," said Jones. "That's the last thing you want to see and not have a plan at the time of a crisis."

    Averett just rolled out a new national app for their students to use.

    A Virginia Tech survivor helped to create the idea called the "Live Safe" app.

    "There's a lot of universities and colleges that use it and even private industries," said Jones. "You'll see it at shopping malls and even some high schools have it."

    With the app, you can report tips and track safe spots on the campus map.

    "Any major police or fire reports that come through the area, will also show up here."

    Averett isn't the only school that's continuing to take a proactive approach in constantly improving campus safety.

    "Of course one of the things that we have now is that the students are armed," Len Stevens, Liberty University's executive director of external communications said. "We do allow them to be armed, so again I think that's a good approach."

    For Averett, the key is developing tools they know students will utilize.

    "We know that they're on their phones all the time and that this is the way we can meet them where they are and reach them where they are," Jones explained.

    There are numerous events happening this weekend at Virginia Tech for the 10-year-anniversary.

    It starts on Friday with a Performance in Remembrance.

    On Sunday, the actual anniversary, there will be a wreath laying, candlelight vigil, and commemoration.

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