3 Findings From Colgate’s Glue Gun Lockdown Incident Review

The review considered Colgate’s emergency communication and management after the report of an armed student on campus.

Colgate University’s internal review of the glue gun incident praised some aspects of the Campus Safety Department’s response and found room for improvement with other aspects.

The review was ordered by Colgate President Brian Casey May 2, one day after the false report of a man on campus with a gun led to a lockdown and emergency alerts to the campus community. The student turned out to be holding a glue gun he was using for an art class.

Casey said the review should consider the role that racial profiling played in the incident because the person believed to have been spotted with a gun was black.

Casey also requested Colgate Director and Chief of Campus Safety Bill Ferguson take an administrative leave.

RELATED: Colgate President’s Response to Glue Gun Incident Sends Dangerous Message

There were three main findings from the university’s review, which lasted from May 2 to 12.

1. Colgate Campus Police Officers Acted Appropriately

The Colgate Campus Safety Department’s decision to call 911 after receiving a report of a person with a gun was appropriate and followed protocol. From there, local law enforcement agencies took control of the response.

The review did conclude, however, that Campus Safety could stand to further strengthen its relationship with external police agencies.

2. Colgate’s Emergency Response and Communications Were Flawed

The review cited flaws with Colgate’s emergency procedures and training. Specifically, campus police sent a message to the community saying there was an active shooter incident on campus even though they were only aware of a potentially armed person and no shooting was reported.

Recommendations included:

  • Colgate should conduct a review of “emergency management and response structures, procedures and protocols, and conduct additional training and preparedness exercises”
  • More emergency information and training should be given to students, faculty and staff
  • Colgate should enhance protocols and tools for both internal and external emergency communications

3. Colgate Must Work to Improve Inclusivity on Campus

The authors of the review wrote that, in the timeframe provided, there was no way to assess the role racial bias might have played in the incident. The reviewers recommend Colgate consider the ways it can minimize the likelihood that campus community members be perceived as threats, including conducting racial bias training with university employees.

Colgate should also do more to make the Campus Safety Department a supportive resource for all members of the campus community.

The authors of the review were Colgate administrative staff members Kim Waldron and Christopher Wells.

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