The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

We’ve Seen this Before: A Joyous Day ends in Tragedy

Is Millikin Prepared for a Dangerous Event?
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Carin Houser

The Kansas City Chiefs are back-to-back Super Bowl Champions. There have been three parades in Kansas City in the last five years, putting the city on the map and highlighting an extremely impressive run within the sport.  

However, this time was different. 

This time was different, for the worse. As we have seen far too many times, a joyous occasion ended in tragedy after a dispute broke out between several people, leading to a mass shooting that left one dead and 22 injured. 

According to ESPN News Services, the total number of victims is 23. One reporter, Lisa Lopez-Galvan was killed, and 22 others were injured in the shooting, mostly ranged between the ages of eight and 47 years old, and half of the injured were under the age of 16. 

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Disappointing isn’t even the word. This parade was meant to be a time of joy for many, celebrating the accomplishments of the team that represents them, and it was interrupted by shooters who, according to ESPN, opened fire after a dispute between several people. 

How many times have we seen an event like this before? 

If the answer is only one, then it is one too many times. The loss of life that we have seen due to shootings in this country is staggering, yet it is so normalized, leading to a numbing sensation towards tragedies such as this. 

We will hear about the heroes. 

A Chiefs fan was instrumental in helping to capture one of the shooters. According to FOX News, Trey Filter and his wife were instrumental in neutralizing the shooter. Other fans, such as Paul Conteras, helped tackle one of the shooters. 

Lyndell Mays and Dominic Miller, both of Kansas City, were charged with second-degree murder, two counts of armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon, according to ESPN. The men are both being held on a $1 million bond.  

So, what happens if there is a shooting, or a threat of one, here on Millikin’s campus, what do we do? How can we be prepared for an event like this? 

Chris Ballard, Director of Public Safety, first understands that shootings are much more than headlines. 

“The vast majority of all these issues are a mental health foundation,” Ballard said. “Everybody wants to focus on the tragedy, or the weapon used or those kinds of things. And in the end when we pull everything back, the common underlying theme is a mental health concern.” 

Ballard wants students to also be aware that any issue happening off-campus can be dealt with on-campus, as providing a safe space for students is of great importance. 

“We have a very robust, active student affair team, “Ballard said.” Sometimes, it is easy to lose sight of the everyday concerns, such as domestic disputes that occur off campus that are inherent in family dynamics sometimes. We want students to understand that we provide on-site resources for what they’re dealing with off-site, such as Public Safety safe rides and safe locks. We have our own file of orders for protection, protecting members of our community and those things.” 

Millikin’s Public Safety also collaborates with the Decatur Police Department, identifying and preventing people who pose a threat from carrying aything dangerous out. 

“We work with the Decatur Police to identify those people,” Ballard said. “We use their camera systems as well to alert us if a car that is related to anything dangerous gets too close to campus.” 

However, Ballard understands that prevention is just as important, if not more important, than reacting to a dangerous situation. 

“The university has a risk threat assessment team, which is comprised of members from our counseling team with Student Affairs, Public Safety, and Human Resources,” Ballard said. “One of the things that Millikin has a lot of resources aimed at is prevention, and that’s very intentional, because it’s much easier to prevent than react to a tragedy.” 

So, what are some tangible resources that students can use for prevention? Ballard outlined these as well. 

“We have the campus conduct hotline, and there’s a number you can call,” Ballard said. “There’s an anonymous link through the website that you can use to report things. You can contact somebody in Public Safety or Student Affairs to report any kind of concern.” 

If you need to access this information, look up Millikin’s Public Safety by name. There are plenty of resources waiting to be used in case of an emergency. 

The behind-the-scenes efforts may not be seen, but perhaps this is for the best. Public Safety often moves and operates in silence, allowing the school to function as if nothing is wrong. The great work that this organization does helps make Millikin a safe space in a city that is often somewhat dangerous. 

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About the Contributors
Kemper Koslofski, Editor-in-Chief
Kemper Koslofski serves as the current Editor-in-Chief for the Decaturian. Born and raised in Decatur, he is very passionate about journalism and the opportunities that it can provide its writers and readers. Kemper also serves as a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) leader on campus. Editor-in-Chief: January 2023-Present Sports Editor: March 2023-December 2023
Carin Houser, News Editor
Carin served as the the Editor-In-Chief of the Decaturian June 2022 thru December 2023. She studies Journalism here at Millikin University. Outside of work and school, Carin is a triathlete who aspires to successfully complete an Iron Man competition. Carin's service dog Ata makes it easy to spot Carin on campus. Ata is a saluki who has been Carin's service dog since June of 2019. Carin is set to graduate with the class of 2024. 2021 Illinois College Press Association Awards: 1st Place - Spot News Photo 2nd Place - Sports Page Design 3rd Place - Multi Media Reporting 3rd Place - Online News Site 2022 Illinois College Press Association Awards: 2nd Place - Editorial 2nd Place - Spot News Photo 3rd Place - Sports Page Design Honorable Mention - Website Design

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