On the ISU police homepage, two new tabs can be found. In response to the Boston Marathon bombing, ISU police decided to update its homepage with sections on bomb emergencies and suspicious packages to a more prominent position.
“In light of the event, it was an extra precaution so that if somebody went directly to our page, they wouldn’t have to make multiple clicks. They could find it directly,” said Rob Bowers, associate director of public safety.
The change happened Monday, April 15, 2013, the same day two explosions turned the Boston Marathon into a tragedy.
“Obviously when something like [the marathon bombings] is happening in the United States, we are concerned, and we want to make sure that people have the best opportunity to see the information that they need to see,” Bowers said. “So we do make adjustments constantly in what we’re doing, and yes, that was an adjustment we made as a result of [the bombing].”
The two tabs are now the first two that will be seen when students go to their homepage.
“It was just added to the website, it hadn’t been on there prior,” said Aaron Delashmutt, investigations captain for ISU Police. “We always had the information available. We had put it out years ago when we had a rash of incidents, but we’ve always had the information. We just decided to make it more available.”
Bowers said that ISU Police is constantly re-evaluating and looking for ways to improve their procedures.
“It’s been an ongoing process over the past couple months,” Bowers said. “We were re-evaluating things eight to 10 months ago, before Boston ... The bomb threat checklist has been consolidated, a little clearer, a little more concise.”
ISU Police created their checklist by looking at the checklists put out by organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security, then picking and choosing the pieces that were applicable to ISU students.
Bowers said the first thing to do if students see something suspicious is to call the police.
“They should call 911, report it to us immediately,” Bowers said. “The bomb threat checklist actually tells [students] to call 911, that’s the very first step, to report it, then fill out the checklist.”
Bowers said the checklist is more for threatening emails, notes or phone calls than for if you physically see something that seems out of place.
“It falls in line with ‘if you see something, say something.’ We’d much rather have a call, and have it turn out to be nothing than not have a call and have it turn out to be something,” Bowers said.