VT Police Department now sets an example for nation 10 years later

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) April 16, 2007, not only changed lives but the way campuses around the nation are secured. University police departments are making improvements that are keeping students and faculty safe.

It's safe to say that Virginia Tech is a more secure place now. New notification systems, increased staff and patrols, and security systems are all helping cut down on crimes.

"We're never going to eradicate crime. We are never going to eradicate mass shootings in this country. It's human nature. It's part of life, unfortunately. They best we can do is try to prevent it whenever possible," Kevin Foust the Police Chief for Virginia Tech said.

The Virginia Tech Police Department is staying ahead of crime now more than ever before and it has systems and staffing to prove it.

"The department increased in size, more than doubled the number of officers we had on duty on April 16. Security cameras have increased dramatically we have over 600 security cameras scattered about campus at this point," Foust said.

Foust wasn't in this same position 10 years ago, but felt the impact of that day. Campuses across the nation have too. Notification systems are now smarter and taken more seriously.

"So what you're seeing more now as a result of the Virginia Tech horrific incident is a lot more sharing of information," said Tod Burke, a Radford University professor and former Maryland police officer.

He's watched campus police department's evolve since the shooting. Training and bigger departments aren't the only thing that's changing, but also building security.

"Whether it's how to secure a door, how to gain access into a building surveillance that's available," Burke said. "All these things are being implemented to help the campus community."

Virginia has been on the leading edge of threat assessment in the country. Virginia Tech recruited one of the nation's top threat assessment experts to improve the emergency management system.

Chief Foust says departments throughout the nation now contact Virginia Tech to learn best practices.