For information of the Clayton State University campus community, the following information is being provided:
On Monday, May 4, 2015, the campus received an anonymous phone call that a bomb had been placed in an unspecified location on campus. As a precaution, all buildings were evacuated and the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, MARTA Police, and Atlanta Police dispatched officers with trained bomb detection dogs to conduct searches of all campus buildings. It took several hours to complete the search of all campus facilities. In addition, bomb dogs must take periodic breaks for rest and water.
By mid-afternoon, classes were cancelled for the rest of the day and employees were permitted to go home and telework.The searches were completed by 6:30 p.m., and fortunately with no explosive devices having been found.
Public Safety is conducting an “after action” review. Some of the key points that have been identified are as follows:
· Evacuation was orderly and did not cause panic among the campus.
· Cooperation with several surrounding law enforcement agencies to secure the campus and conduct the search.
· One email chain among core crisis response team kept the team timely informed of developments.
· The dissemination of official statements to the campus and the media was controlled and managed for accuracy and consistency.
Areas for Process Improvement
· Upon implementation of building evacuations, evacuees should be allowed to carry critical personal property, e.g. cell phones, car keys, wallets and purses, if able to obtain without delay.
· Include periodic updated communications to the campus community regarding status of search.
· Retrain campus building coordinators to assist with evacuation.
· To ensure the broadest notification to the campus community, activate all components of the campus alert system, not only campus emails and text messaging, but also include the AVAYA component of the campus telephone system and the outdoor sirens.
· During the clearing of campus buildings, identify those buildings when considered safe that can be used to provide shelter or restroom needs.
These are just some of the areas for improvement that have been identified during the review. We also encourage other members of our campus community, students, faculty, and staff, to submit any personal observations or additional suggestions for consideration as well. For inclusion in this review, please email responses to me by next Tuesday, May 19.
In conclusion, I would like to express our appreciation, and also on behalf of the other participating law enforcement agencies, for the cooperation and patience of the campus community during this recent disruptive event, which greatly contributed to our ability to conduct an orderly and professional campus wide search, and happily with negative results.
Chief of Police
Clayton State University