Dawson College improves security
Students returned to Dawson College on Aug. 22, less than a year after a shooting rampage that resulted in one student dead and 20 others injured. But students were feeling safer as a result of several improvements at the school designed to increase their safety in a crisis.
On Sept. 13, 2006, Kimveer Gill walked into the college on Sherbrooke St. West in Montreal and opened fire, injuring 20 students and killing 18-year-old Anastasia De Sousa before being wounded by Montreal police and then killing himself.
Dawson College does a yearly review of its grounds as a part of its budget process to set priorities for improvements and upgrades. However, “this year’s routine review of facilities and installations was framed by the events of Sept. 13 in terms of the need to upgrade or install security equipment,” states a release from the school’s website. Repeated calls to the school were not returned.
Upgrades to the school have included deadbolts on classroom doors that can be locked from the inside in the event of an emergency. Also, landlines in the school have been upgraded to allow a 911 operator to trace a call from a specific location in the school.
A new communications system also allows officials to broadcast to particular sections of the school and into classrooms. A dedicated cell network using discreetly placed antennas has also been installed that is designed to avoid a system overload such as the one that happened during last year’s shooting.
School director general Richard Filion, in his welcome back address to students, touched on the shootings, pointing out that students have shown “extraordinary resilience” in its aftermath and that it has been an inspiration to those associated with the college.