University engages security consultants as part of campus-wide review of emergency preparedness

Vanderbilt University has entered an agreement with security consulting firm AT-RISK International as part of a comprehensive review of the university’s emergency preparedness, particularly in response to an active shooter scenario.  

The agreement follows work this summer by a university-wide working group convened by Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration, and Ruby Z. Shellaway, vice chancellor, general counsel and university secretary, to evaluate near-term and longer-term security enhancement solutions. The working group has collaborated with more than 30 campus partners to: 

  • Provide additional training and communications to promote awareness of the university’s emergency preparedness resources 
  • Complete the Secure Dores initiative to enable VUPS to lock all exterior doors in the event of an emergency 
  • Conduct security assessments and enhance safety plans at the university’s childcare centers 
  • Provide support for Vanderbilt University Police Department’s active shooter training exercises for all sworn officers and VUPD support functions 
  • Review and make updates to university-wide emergency plans and communication protocols 
  • Partner with Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and Vanderbilt University Medical Center to review and further refine response protocols  

AT-RISK provides consulting services on a global scale for individuals and organizations. Experts with more than 80 years of combined senior leadership in law enforcement, national security, military and corporate security lead the firm, which has expertise in 118 countries. 

This fall, the firm will assess the university’s preparedness and make recommendations for managing immediate and post-incident response as well as ongoing support and long-term recovery, if needed. The firm is also expected to review and enhance training options and coordinate with key stakeholders to refine the university’s response plan for an active assailant threat. 

For more information about current resources, visit the Emergency Management website to get details on key aspects, such as: 

  • AlertVU – Vanderbilt University’s emergency mass notification system. 
  • VandySafe App – Available for download through Apple and Google Play stories, the app provides users several safety services, including emergency guides, the ability to submit iReports and share locations instantly with VUPD as well as initiate a “virtual walk home” feature. 
  • Guidelines for Active Shooter Incident The best time to consider how to react is in advance. These guidelines provide information to help individuals act quickly if necessary. 
  • Emergency Preparedness Quick Reference Flyer – This two-page summary provides the university community with key emergency preparedness tips and a summary of Vanderbilt’s emergency communications resources.