More Campuses “Ready To Respond”
By Amanda Vinicky
College students are back on campus and classes are underway. Parents at some Illinois schools have extra assurance their kids will be safe when they're at school.
Universities and colleges are often ranked, making "best of" lists for one program or the other.
But only a couple in Illinois have achieved the designation of becoming a "Ready to Respond" campus -- a title given by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency after the school has met criteria, like developing a violence prevention plan and going through training exercises.
"What you really get good at are the things that you train on," Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathan Monken said.
"And you need to be empowered with information to understand what you need to do. And in many instances it takes a significant portion of the staff of these schools to really execute an efficient response. So if they're trying to save lives when time is absolutely critical you need to be able to default to experience that's earned."
Richland Community College in Decatur is the latest to be certified as "Campus Ready"; the University of Illinois' Urbana campus got its designation earlier this year.
Monken says others are well on the way, including Augustana in Rock Island, and Heartland Community College in Normal.