On the evening of October 5th, College of DuPage received a bomb threat that prompted a campus-wide evacuation.
For COD Professor Dr. Sabryna Cornish, it wasn’t the first time she had to deal with a danger on campus.
On Valentine’s Day 2008, she was working at Northern Illinois University, when a gunman opened fire.
“I heard the shots and I didn’t really know what those are. I’d heard shots before but nothing really like that, and so I think I was like every other student who was confused for a second and then you saw the students come out and I realized that they were covered in blood and they were panicking and everybody was scattering and running every which way,” explained Cornish.
That incident left five people dead and another 21 wounded.
While the threat at COD was taken seriously, it was ultimately deemed a hoax.
“It was not one of our students, it wasn’t even somebody local. It was actually someone who did this from quite a distance and the person that allegedly did this, apparently has done this at other places as well. So this is someone who knows very well exactly what to say, how to say it to be-to come across as a credible threat,” said Joe Collins, Acting Interim President at College of DuPage.
If the call had been more than just a threat, COD is uniquely prepared to deal with a campus wide emergency.
Collins explains, “We have a police department right on campus. They’re in our buildings, if anything were to happen we don’t have to call 911 and have Glen Ellyn or Wheaton come in, our police department is already here on site.
This constant security presence could make all the difference in the event of a real attack – as could the watchful eye of teachers, like Sabryna, who are now expected to identify students who may pose a threat.
“I think that every school has realized now that it’s not an anomaly, it really could happen anywhere,” said Cornish.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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