Police chiefs weigh in on response to shooting

Police have one in person in custody in connection with the fatal shooting on Purdue's campus on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. The suspect in custody was later identified by police as 23-year-old Cody Cousins. (Viewer Submitted Photo)
Police have one in person in custody in connection with the fatal shooting on Purdue's campus on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. The suspect in custody was later identified by police as 23-year-old Cody Cousins. (Viewer Submitted Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Minutes after Tuesday’s deadly shooting was reported, first responders from all across the area were on scene.

“A witness says it was in room 67 said there were gunshots down in the basement and somebody was holding somebody down,” said Purdue Police Chief John Cox on the police scanners.

When multiple calls came in to the Purdue Police dispatch center on Tuesday, Cox knew he and his officers had to act fast.

“Dispatch: Get the sirens and let’s go!” said Cox on the scanners.

Cox and his officers weren’t the only ones. West Lafayette Police, Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police were also quick to arrive on scene.

“The initial minute or two of that was extremely well done by all of the dispatch centers in the county sharing that information. That goes to show the collaborative effort,” said Cox.

Cox said countless hours of training allowed the different agencies to work as one. Although it was a tragic event that brought all these agencies together, Cox hopes the community will gain something from the response.

“My hope would be that the response by the agencies showing collaborative partnerships that are quite apparent through the training, through the working together, bring some sort of sense and security to the community,” said Cox.

West Lafayette Police Chief Jason Dombkowski agreed. He said it’s all about the relationships that are built in every day life that help in emergency situations. He said luckily, every day life in West Lafayette is fairly safe. He said for about the last five years, the department has been pulling the FBI uniform crime statistics from all the Big Ten cities.

“When we start comparing those crime rates, both violent crime rate and property crime rate, West Lafayette’s among the lowest every year,” said Dombkowski.

Overall, Cox said he was satisfied with the response efforts and Cody Cousins was taken into custody within three minutes. He said the different agencies will be analyzing and reviewing what could have been done better.

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