Umpqua Community College shooting raises security concerns in Chicago

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The shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon heightened concerns about security and safety at Chicago area schools. (WLS)

The shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon and others that have come before it raise questions and concerns about security and safety at Chicago area schools.
PHOTOS: Deadly campus shooting in Oregon


Most Chicago area schools are on heightened alert in the wake of the violence in Oregon. A spokesperson for the City Colleges issued a statement saying: "We regularly conduct prevention measures, including active shooter training, and we remain vigilant about providing safe environments for teaching and learning. We have put our security teams on alert in response to the latest incident."

At Streamwood High School, a security card is needed to access the school and visitors have to be buzzed in by staff after they are identified on camera. Security experts say it's all part of the new world we now live in - a world where deranged gunmen increasingly target schools for their violence.

At District U46, the second largest district in the state - they've never had a shooting in a school, but they prepare extensively, just in case.

"We talk about lockdown, we talk about armed assailant. We don't just talk about it, now we use scenarios," said John Heiderscheidt, District U-46 security chief.

Security experts say it could happen anywhere, but there are ways to catch it and stop it before the violence starts. From this office in the Loop, analysts can monitor social media postings, helping to protect clients around the country.

Former Secret Service head Arnette Heintze, of Hillard Heintz, says most targeted shooting incidents like the one in Oregon are preventable.

"These acts are discernable. This behavior you can identify it earlier on if you have the right structured people, process and technology focusing on this type of behavior," Heintze said.

Authorities have yet to reveal much information about the 26-year-old male gunman involved in Thursday's shooting. They have said he was a student, but have not confirmed whether he sent out any warnings via social media or elsewhere.

But experts say in the vast majority of these cases, the gunmen are not acting spontaneously. They usually plan the shootings weeks, months, or even years in advance. And in some cases it's a matter of identifying danger factors and alerting authorities.

"It's not fair to say every act is preventable, but a large portion of these tragic encounters are," Heintze said.

Experts say these shooters are typically mentally unbalanced and often have a vendetta against a certain segment of society.


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u.s. & worldschool shootingcollegeshootingOregonChicago - Downtown
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