LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Students at Delta State University weren't the only ones put on high alert Monday. The deadly shooting sparked concerns with students hours away, like those at USM Gulf Park.
USM Gulf Park students say they have never had to deal with an active shooter on campus situation, but Monday's deadly shooting at DSU was cause for concern. The good news is, students and staff agree, that the appropriate measures are in place in the event they are ever put in a similar dangerous scenario.
"Every day when we come to work, students, faculty, and staff their safety is number one priority. So, we wanted to make sure that we had the same type of safety systems that the Hattiesburg campus has," said Steve Miller.
Steve Miller, the Vice President of USM Gulf Park, believes they have taken the appropriate steps to prepare if an emergency arises, such as using the Eagle Alert system.
"If any type of incident occurs, you can subscribe to this. It will notify you by email, by text, or by cell phone. So, it's a great system that automatically get messages out in a very rapid response time," said Miller.
One of their newest campus safety features is the blue code emergency phone poles. Six of them were installed around campus in August. With the push of a button, a blue light on top of the pole begins to flash and campus police are immediately notified to an emergency situation.
"They're also great as far as lighting the campus, you can see them no matter where you are on campus, you see at least one of the phones," said Kady Pietz.
Ashley Burton, who is also a student, agrees.
"I think it's great. It makes me feel more secure walking to my car, and I park as closely to the building as I can so that I don't have to trek far from my car," said Burton.
Less than a month ago, Mississippi State University was also put on alert due to an active shooter situation that turned out to be a false alarm, but even then, USM Gulf Park administrators sent students an email reminding them to stay vigilant.
"We are blessed. We are very fortunate that we haven't had an incident like this, but we're doing all the things necessary to be proactive not to have one so that makes me feel good," said Miller.
Classes at Delta State University were suspended for the rest of the day Monday and canceled for Tuesday. According to the school's website, counselors will be on campus Tuesday to conduct group and individual sessions for students.