NORTH NEWTON, KS – Emergency drills and crisis plans are a little like insurance. You hope you never need them. But preparation paid off when during the overnight hours Monday, October 6, there were reports of shots being fired near the Bethel College Administration Building.
Early responders immediately enacted emergency procedures, locking down the campus utilizing text alerts and loud-speaker systems as designed. Information was also posted to the college website and social media.
Local police officials began their investigation, determining no imminent danger and an all clear was issued. Allegedly the shots came from CO2 pistols discharged near the college’s hallmark building. It is believed that the shots were not aimed at anyone. No arrests have been made, but college disciplinary procedures will be enacted once determination is made of those responsible.
“Our people responded to the report immediately – no questions asked – and enacted emergency procedures just as we have trained and drilled. Our very first precaution is the safety of our students and staff,” President Perry D. White said. “The best news is that the process worked exactly as it should have. Compliments to our student life staff for the way they enacted the process and to the campus for the way they responded, following their training precisely.”
Events took place during the college’s fall break, which concludes Tuesday evening.
Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.