Last month, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact more areas of Houston and surrounding communities, UT Police’s Community Outreach team increased the availability of online safety classes as a means of ensuring social distancing while continuing to provide crucial—and potentially lifesaving—information.
One of the first classes brought online was “General Campus Safety,” a one-hour course that provides tips on how to minimize the risk of being a potential target or victim. More than 175 members of the MD Anderson and UTHealth communities tuned in to WebEx for the presentation led by Community Outreach Officer Manuel Leston.
“I think people appreciate the ease of use and convenience of watching from a remote location like home,” said Leston. “There is a live chat feature that allows for a question and answer segment, which adds to the overall experience.”
Following an online “Active Shooter Prevention and Response” class, a participant who had previously taken the class in person shared her sentiments on Leston’s virtual presentation of the material.
“Officer Leston is a calm and reassuring presence in the eye of the storm, or in this case, a public health emergency,” she wrote. “I am grateful that he continues to offer presentations via WebEx because having an active shooter is a very real threat, even in our current state of working remotely.”