Campus safety ‘not at risk’ after student stabbing

Durham College and UOIT did not go into lockdown following a stabbing incident on campus because it would have made the situation worse, according to Tom Lynch, the director of campus safety for DC and UOIT.

“With the hype police presence, the community at large was not at risk,” Lynch says after a 22-year-old UOIT student was stabbed near the B-wing Tim Hortons around 4:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Sept. 17. A 19-year-old UOIT student was arrested the next day and faces numerous charges.

According to Lynch, the office of campus safety reviewed the information available to them and determined what the best emergency response was to protect the community.

He says a lockdown was not in the best interest of the campus.

At the time of an incident, such as the stabbing, Lynch is given the position of emergency manager, the person responsible to co-ordinate the operations of the Emergency Management Response Team (EMRT).

The EMRT consists of Lynch and eight other DC and UOIT management officials.

Lynch updated the EMRT with information as to why he did not call a lockdown and the EMRT supported the decision, he says.

A lockdown is a very significant tool for certain active threats, he says.

“It’s a proven active response to mitigate an injury,” Lynch says.

Lynch adds he has put the college and university into lockdown a few times, including earlier this year.

Durham College and UOIT went into lockdown on May 9, 2014 after a report of an armed person on campus.

The lockdown ended that afternoon, after police said the armed person was no longer in the area.

Lynch says a lockdown will only be called if it will give safety and well-being to the community.

He says the safety of the campus is his priority.

“Any kind of violence is obviously something we need to address immediately here on campus,” Lynch adds.

He reminds students, if they see any type of incident or suspicious activity on campus to report it to security immediately.