Keystone followed crisis policy

BY JOSH MROZINSKI
Police discovered the weapons when responding to reports of a suicide of a 21-year-old student in Hollinshead Hall.

And while the policy will not change, Keystone plans to continue to be vigilant about student safety, according to spokesman Fran Calpin.

“Keystone College has a zero tolerance policy for weapons, drugs and alcohol,” he added, noting that the college attempts to strike a balance between security, practicality and student freedom of movement.

Calpin said that student dormitories are patrolled every night and that emergency procedures were followed on Feb. 15, with dormitory room evacuations.

Keystone security consultant Joe Cocciardi said that the college has a “fairly robust emergency operations plan” that is exercised every two years, most recently in November.

During the November exercise, college staff practiced response to a hostage situation that involved law enforcement and emergency responders from throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

The plan covers all hazards and includes proactive measures, as well as provisions on response and after incident management, Cocciardi said.

Noting that no security policy is 100 percent effective even if it is draconian, Cocciardi said that the best way to help keep a facility or campus safe is to make sure everyone is aware of the policy.

American Council of Education counsel Ada Meloy said that generally colleges and universities have to rely on its faculty and students to prevent weapons of any type from being brought onto campuses.

She added that more stringent security measures such as metal detectors could be taken, but that would go against a longstanding concept of having open colleges.

“A police state is not the nature of college campuses,” Meloy said.