University plans in case of violence

Following recent events at the University of Missouri, Truman State has been considering how the University would handle similar situations.

The University’s plan has two components — the Department of Public Safety would handle any unsafe situations, such as a protest that turns violent or shooting threats, and Truman administration would handle less immediate threats, such as hate speech.

DPS Director Sara Holzmeier says  since the events at Mizzou, DPS has received multiple phone calls and emails from concerned students and parents. However, Holzmeier says DPS had no reports of race-related issues during the last few weeks.

“We’ve been pretty lucky,” Holzmeier said. “People know to act accordingly. If something has happened, I encourage people to report and come forward because we won’t tolerate that kind of behavior on campus.”

If such a situation were to occur, Holzmeier says  laws and University rules would be enforced properly. She says  she has discussed with DPS officers how they would proceed, but DPS does not foresee an immediate problem. Holzmeier says  though it is possible a situation like the one at Mizzou could occur at Truman, she thinks it is unlikely.

“I’m proud to be a part of Truman. We have a lot of good students. I feel that we are blessed to have a pretty small campus with a diverse, educated group of kids, and luckily we haven’t had anything like that. It’s my hope that we won’t have it, but it’s always a potential.”

– Sara Holzmeier, Department of Public Safety Director

Holzmeier says  the officers will receive sovereign citizen training during the coming weeks. While not directly related to the situation at Mizzou, she says this training will teach the officers how to handle situations such as what occurred in Ferguson, where armed citizens presented an issue to law enforcement. When it comes to protests becoming violent, Holzmeier says this is something else she thinks is unlikely to occur at Truman.

“Obviously, if it’s a peaceful protest, they have the right to do that, so long as it’s not done in an unsafe manner,” Holzmeier says.

For more from the Dean of Student Affairs and the Institutional Compliance officer continue reading on issuu.