PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Following the deadly Nashville shooting on Monday that left three students and three adults dead, the Bradley University Police Department has spoken out about how they handle campus safety.
Bradley University police have implemented multiple protocols to protect students on campus. That includes an uber-like application for the ‘Safety Cruiser,’ a campus resource for students who don’t feel safe walking home from 7 PM to 3 AM every single day.
They’ve also placed emergency call boxes around campus for students to utilize if they feel they’re in danger.
Students can also contact campus police to have somebody walk them to their destination at any time of day.
There is also a university-wide emergency alert system to update students and staff on any violent events on campus.
Bradley Police Chief Brian Joschko said all the campus police officers are also trained and prepared if violence were to occur on campus. “We’ve never had an active shooter situation on our campus, but that doesn’t mean that one couldn’t happen. So we always have to be prepared as a campus community, and as a university police department. That’s why we conduct annual training for our police officers, and we also do training for our campus community, as well,” said Joschko.
He also explained the training officers receive for those experiencing mental health crises.
“Mental health is a challenge, coming out of the pandemic especially, so it is something we place a lot of emphasis on our police officers, making sure they’re well-trained on how to de-escalate a mental health-related crisis,” said Joschko. “And then also helping us identify and track individuals that may be having some mental health concerns.”
Those mental health concerns are part of the conversation, especially for those in the LGBTQ+ community. That’s because the shooter in the Nashville case was identified as transgender.
At this point, it’s unclear if that played a role in the shooter’s motive, but still, local organizations are making sure mental health resources are available for those who need them, specifically, the LGBTQ+ community.
Central Illinois Friend (CIF) is an organization that works to eliminate barriers for those seeking mental health resources.
“Simply by being LGBTQ+ you are not the problem, but being LGBTQ+ has created barriers because of the way our society views us,” said Executive Director of CIF Deric Kimler. He said, “We are your healthcare navigators. It’s not easy navigating this health system today, with all the red tape and policies and restrictions, and ‘is my insurance accepted, do I have insurance?’ You have friends, you are not alone, don’t think that you can do this alone.”
For those who may benefit from mental health resources, click here.