“The challenge is to decide what’s an event and what isn’t an event,” said Ken Dixon, a spokesman for MIR3, a San Deigo-based company that provides notification technology to about 100 campuses. “It’s a challenge to use this kind of system correctly.”
Dixon said gunfire is among the “no brainer” uses of an emergency alert system, but college officials should be cautious in overusing the alerts to tell students about upcoming campus events like plays and fundraisers.
“If you send out everything, then the students begin to ignore them,” he said. “Colleges should make sure that they wait for something dire, and then send it out.”
Joe DiPasquale, CEO of Regroup.com, a company that provides non-emergency notification for the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa campus, said the UAH shootings should encourage campus officials to test and re-test their text and eMail alerts to make sure they’re ready for the next emergency.
“I think this case has caught people’s attention,” DiPasquale said. “Ideally, things like this would never happen, but because they do, it’s important to be sure your school is prepared.”
Meanwhile, Bishop’s attorney said Feb. 19 that his client is remorseful, but doesn’t remember the shootings of six colleagues.
Roy W. Miller said Amy Bishop, 44, is likely insane and does not remember pulling out a handgun and shooting six colleagues, three fatally, at a biology department faculty meeting one week ago at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
“She just doesn’t remember shooting these folks,” he said.
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