As a result of the shooting, Grady says all campus buildings were also equipped with additional medical kits that include equipment such as EpiPens and oxygen. Both chiefs say having a cache of medical equipment is critical in a mass casualty incident and also helps the campus support itself in the event of a natural disaster or medical emergency.
Lastly, in May the department expanded into another building, which included a high-tech emergency operations center on campus and a secondary center a few miles off campus.
In incidents of spontaneous violence, not much can be done to predict and interdict a gunman prior to shooting. But what can be garnered from the incident at NIU is that a swift response by prepared public safety personnel can make all the difference in saving lives and reducing injury. The police, fire and EMS cooperation can give the community some peace of mind, knowing that though we can't control if a gunman erupts, we can respond to it in a quick and controlled manner that gives citizens a sense of safety, even in the wake of violence.
"I really think if someone wants to do something, you really can't stop them," Cassidy says. "[NIU Police] are specialists that know what they're doing. In terms of dealing with the incident itself and getting here — to the scene — I think the folks here did a really, really good job, so I'm not worried."
For a university not dwelling on the indiscriminate killings, it's business as usual as the spring semester ends its first full school year since 2/14. NIU is able to harvest the silver linings from the storm cloud that erupted in Cole Hall and in the shadow of slaughter, continue its mission as campus police to protect, serve and educate.
Editor's note: Chief Grady asked that we not publicize specific details about the CAMPUS program; the operation's deterring factor is that the undercover officers' identities as well as the number of officers on the force are kept confidential. He welcomes any agency with questions or interested in adopting a similar program to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.