This archived article was written by: Emma Campbell
Two females who may have weapons set off Utah State University Eastern’s Code Blue Emergency System at 5:08 P.M on Sept. 12. Upon the Code Blue going out, a Student Affairs employee contacted Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Marshall, who was teaching a marksmanship class. He immediately left class and ran to the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center. In a police report by USU Eastern Police Officer Tana Christensen, she wrote: “There was a call that came out saying a man in Pioneer Park had a weapon in his waistband. Pioneer Park is Price city territory so, Price City Police went over and found the man, but there was no gun. According to the report, the officers found that before they got to Pioneer Park, the man stashed a gun in a vehicle with acquaintances. The acquaintances left and the police talked to the man that was seen brandishing the weapon. The man told police that he put the gun into a vehicle and explained who the acquaintances were and the vehicle. The police saw the vehicle by the park and pulled the driver over. Four subjects, two males and two females, ran from officers. They apprehend the two males, found a couple of guns, one in the vehicle and one on a male subject. The two females ran towards USU Eastern campus and into the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center to use the computers and Internet, so they could get a ride. The Code Blue went out throughout campus describing the two females as 15 and 17…” Christensen writes, “Myself and Trooper Marshal received a phone call from dispatch after the Code Blue was issued saying, We are looking for two female subjects who may be armed.” The two girls walked into the Jennifer Leavitt Student Center and made it to the second floor where they entered the TRIO program offices, then asked to use a phone and computer. Marshall and Christensen found the girls there. They searched them, secured them and waited for Price City officers. The females were unarmed. When Price City Police got there, they arrested one female, who was an adult, and released the other, who was a juvenile, into her guardian’s custody. Vice Chancellor Greg Dart said the system worked exactly as administrators hoped. “Within a few minutes of the notification going out, there was information on the location of those being sought,” said Dart. “That is exactly why we send the out this kind of warning. In this case, we were happy to find out that there was nothing to be alarmed about.” Within 30 minutes of the alert going out, another went out saying the campus was all clear. Code Blue is a Utah State University emergency alert system. Students, faculty and staff automatically get email notifications, but if you sign up for it at usu.edu/emergency, you get digital alerts, SMS and voice-mail. Code Blue is a useful tool, it is there for everyone’s safety. The important thing to remember is read the alerts accurately. There was some confusion between active shooter versus suspects on the campus that might be armed. It’s a little different. Active Shooter means we lock down and evacuate the school. The Code Blue alert that went on the 12th means if you see these suspects do not approach them and alert authorities.