Butler University shows off it’s campus emergency notification system

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 25, 2015) -- Detectives with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) are still searching for two men who took police on a high speed chase before crashing their car and taking off running. The drama unfolded in the area of West 42nd Street and Cornelius Avenue Saturday night. Since it was so close to Butler University, leaders ordered everyone on and near campus to shelter-in-place.

The Butler University Police Dispatch Center is where alert messages are generated. Computer software allows the university to send out a pre-programmed message or one tailor made for a constantly changing situation. Saturday night is an example of that. University leaders work closely with IMPD and since Saturday's chase was heading south of campus, Butler leaders were monitoring the situation. When the suspects got away, Butler decided to text, e-mail and call their subscribers and tell them to "shelter-in-place".

Senior Haley Horner was on her way home when she got the notification.

"We were really concerned," she said. "I live with six girls and we made our guy friends run over and we were, like, doors locked, blinds down and it was kinda scary."

Eventually, the situation calmed down and looking back on it, university leaders say the system works.

"We just felt that was the right thing to do just to be overly cautious," said Benjamin Hunter, Chief of Staff for the President of Butler University.

The alert system can also be used for a campus-wide weather emergency or be isolated to a specific dorm for a water main break.