New T3 vehicles to aid in response to active shooters
In a campus parking lot, Christopher Weems demonstrates the new T3 Motion Electric Standup Vehicle. | Job Ang/THE CHIMES
Campus Safety has purchased what at first glance appears to be two T3 Motion Electric Standup Vehicles, as part of an effort to aid in emergency response, crime prevention and the possible case of an active shooter on campus.
“Criminals used to look for the patrol unit. Once the patrol unit goes by, they can operate. Now we’ve got bicycles … and now we’ve got this. It gives them something to think about,” Biola’s Campus Safety Chief John Ojeisekhoba said.
The T3 vehicles also serve as an ideal vehicle for maneuvering campus with speed and tact if there ever was an active shooter at Biola, according to Ojeisekhoba.
Preparation and faith both important to stay protected from shootings
No one is immune to an active shooter situation, Ojeisekhoba said. There have been 84 shootings at faith-based institutions in the last decade — 64 have been at schools, 20 at churches, according to a report Ojeisekhoba submitted to the Board of Trustees in May.
Ojeisekhoba explained that although Biola relies on God for protection, it is important to be prepared. The 20 churches who experienced shootings also had faith, he remarked.
“Our mindset is that we trust that that never happens here but if it does happen, we have the capability,” Ojeisekhoba said.
T3s most efficient and economic way to have emergency access to entire campus
In case of an emergency, his officers may have problems getting to upper campus from the main Campus Safety office by the Caf, according to Ojeisekhoba’s report. Bollards — the short, cement poles that separate the parking lots from main campus — present a challenge.
Campus Safety had three options for responding to the bollards. The first was to move Campus Safety headquarters from the offices by the Caf to the Rose of Sharon chapel, making both upper and lower campuses easily accessible.
The second choice was to remove the bollards that separate parking lots from the campus itself, allowing Campus Safety direct access to upper campus with patrol cars.
However, this presented a safety hazard. Ojeisekhoba said the best option was to purchase the T3 Motion Electric Standup Vehicles for $12,000 each with a budget allotted from Auxiliary Services. The alternative of moving Campus Safety headquarters would have cost at least $60,000, according to Ojeisekhoba.
Purchasing the T3s and training personnel to use them in preparation for an active shooter is similar to preparing for an earthquake, according to Campus Safety Public Information Officer Justin Shelby.
“Major earthquakes are few and far between, but the potential for catastrophe is so great that you have to prepare,” Shelby said.