Sac State continues to make campus security improvements


Barbara Harvey - The State Hornet

Claire Morgan and Kameron Schmid

After a handwritten note making violent threats was found on its campus, California State University, Northridge canceled classes and moved finals off campus.

According to The Sundial, CSU Northridge’s campus news organization, campus police are investigating the threat.

After a series of 2017 mass shootings, including one in Las Vegas that killed 59 and injured 851, many people expressed concern over how prepared Sacramento State and other college campuses would be for a potential shooting.

At the time, Sacramento State’s Police Chief Mark Iwasa said that campus alert systems needed to be improved, training procedures could be implemented and all campus building locking systems needed updating.

Since then, a series of updates have been made, including the addition of self-locking doors in some halls and updates to emergency notification systems, according to the university.

Self-locking doors

All doors in Mendocino Hall have had locks installed and can be locked from the inside, according to an email received by The State Hornet from Sac State university spokesman Brian Blomster.

“They do not have to be locked by a central control,” said Blomster. “That means there is no delay in locking.”

Blomster said that locks for another 80 classrooms have been purchased and are in the process of being installed, though he did not specify in which halls the locks would be located.

Eventually, locks will be installed in all classrooms on campus as well as doors to common areas line offices and main front doors, Blomster said. He did not specify when the entire campus will have this technology installed.

Campus alert systems

In 2017, Iwasa said that tests of Sac State’s alert systems “went badly,” and that the system overall required improvement. Since then, the university has updated its campus alert system, with text messages being received by students and faculty sometimes in a matter of seconds, Blomster said.

Blomster quoted Iwasa as saying the system is “super responsive” when sending text alerts, which he added are the main way most students receive alerts, and that desktop alerts worked well.

Campus training

An active-shooter training video created by California State University is posted on Sac State’s website. The video is available in both English and Spanish.“It is comprehensive but easy to watch and absorb,” Blomster said. “[It focuses] on the ‘run, hide, fight,’ response that experts support.”

According to Blomster, Iwasa said the campus is in full compliance with building evacuation training and that every building on campus has completed the training.

Blomster added that every building coordinator responsible for helping people get out of a building if necessary, has received hands-on training. A list of all building coordinators is available in respective buildings.

Related: Read an editorial from 2017 by The State Hornet arguing that all CSU campuses should mandate active shooter training for students and employees.