Emergency Management

Yale Lockdown (11/25/2013)


Veoci is headquartered in downtown New Haven, Connecticut – just two blocks away from Yale University’s Old Campus, the “hot zone” in and around which responders concentrated their search efforts after the call came in that there was a gunman on campus.

Yale is especially close to us on another level – five of our employees are alumni and others on our team have family and friends who work there. Yesterday was a scary day in downtown New Haven, and I’m sure it was far more terrifying to be on Yale’s campus.

Yale is an urban campus in the heart of New Haven – surrounded by office buildings, restaurants, hospitals, and other public places. It is embedded as part of downtown New Haven.

Yesterday’s events caused many area establishments to go on lockdown while local and state police, and FBI and ATF agents cleared the area and searched for the threat. Many students both at Yale and at nearby Gateway Community College, visitors to the New Haven Public Library, patrons of local businesses and their proprietors were trapped for hours. Some people were forced to cancel or delay Thanksgiving travel plans. Metro North (the commuter railroad that services southern Connecticut) needed to make a tough decision to continue operating trains into and out of New Haven (they stayed operational). With helicopters overhead and streets blocked everywhere, downtown workers were nervous to step outside to get lunch.

Responding to such an incident can be an overwhelming task. The situation was fluid and there were plenty of unknowns. Multiple agencies and organizations were involved in the response, so effective communications and coordination were critical. Students and faculty needed to be alerted, jurisdictions needed to work together, and the media and public wanted to stay informed.

In the end, the call appears to have been a hoax, and the gunman spotted on campus may have been a law enforcement officer responding to that call. Our entire team is thankful that no one was hurt, and we have the highest praise for every person and every team that responded to ensure our city’s safety. We are proud to be a part of the Yale & New Haven community, to serve it with the work we do, and know that we can always count on our first responders to protect us from harm.

Update: Paul Bass of The New Haven Independent has posted a definitive recap of the events last Monday.

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