Protocol, safety precautions for campus police at TAMUCC

A campus police officer at Texas Tech was fatally shot by a student Monday night after the officer brought the student to the university police station.

CORPUS CHRISTI (KIII NEWS) - A campus police officer at Texas Tech was fatally shot by a student Monday night after the officer brought the student to the university police station.

The student was accused of violating the campus drug policy, but how was he able to get a gun into the police station? And could that happen here?

The campus police chief at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi said it is an everyday struggle to decide how much action to take in a given situation.

"It kind of reminds us that in general, law enforcement is a very hazardous profession," TAMUCC Police Chief Alan Gutierrez said.

In terms of protocol at TAMUCC, Gutierrez said depending on the incident, officers use their discretion on how much action to take. Often students who may be victims or witnesses to a crime won't be subject to a search or handcuffs, but protocol during an arrest is crystal clear.

"If an arrest is warranted and they take him into custody, absolutely they'll take specific steps in terms of searching before they put them into the car for transport," Gutierrez said.

As for the university police station building, only the small lobby is accessible to anyone on campus, but police have the right to disarm every person who comes into the station. As for where the officers and equipment are, only officers and special personnel have access.

"You wouldn't be able to breech the door without being escorted," Gutierrez said.

Campus police also utilize a high-tech map and board where they can draw out plans, assign specific officers to areas, and even take screenshots of their original maps to send to outside agencies like the Corpus Christi police and fire departments.

"We can outline the path that we want them to take," Gutierrez said. "We can tell them that this is going to be our staging area."

It's all there to keep the campus safe, but the loss of the Texas Tech police officer is a heartbreaking reminder that officer safety needs to be a priority, as well.

With 17 officers in the force, Gutierrez emphasized that they want to send their thoughts and prayers to the Texas Tech officer's family and the entire Texas Tech community.

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