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College Making Campus Safety Investment

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College is looking to invest more than $150,000 toward an ongoing campus-wide security initiative spanning well into 2014.

The initiative outlined during the college’s Dec. 17, 2013 Board of Trustees meeting at the Greenville Emergency Operations Center is overseen by PCC’s Vice President of Administrative Services Don Heisey.

“We looked at what we can do. What can we do to help secure and more inform the campus,” said Heisey.

Heisey outlined the security initiative that started in April 2013 with a Threat Assessment Committee consisting of PCC faculty and staff members. The committee implemented five key improvements to campus security and also contracted a security consultant to provide additional recommendations.

Five Key Improvements

The five key improvements included the addition of Emergency Reference Guides in all classrooms and offices that provide important emergency information ranging from fires, bomb threats and evacuation procedures.

All student syllabi now include a section on campus safety and maps have been posted above classroom doors so that students can provide better location information during an emergency.

Campus phones and computers are now equipped with “SingleWire,” a software that allows PCC Police dispatchers to quickly broadcast an emergency message across all speakerphones, along with the phone’s digital screen and computer monitors connected to the campus’ network. The new software is in addition to the current emergency system that allows for notifications to all text, web and email systems.

SingleWire divides the campus into quadrants, allowing dispatchers to control where the message is broadcasted down to specific areas of specific floors in a building. “We can eliminate those areas where we don’t want the threat to hear what we’re doing and what we’re advising people to do,” said Heisey.

Employees will also have a special sequence of keys that can be pushed on their computer’s keyboard at any time to silently send an emergency message to PCC Police dispatchers of an imminent threat.

All employees are tasked with completing a mandatory hour-long, active-shooter training course provided by AFIMAC security experts. More than 85 percent of employees have completed the course with 15 percent in-progress.

Five Key Improvements:

1. Emergency Reference Guides

2. All student syllabi including safety information

3. Emergency maps posted in all classroom and conference rooms

4. “SingleWire” Emergency Notification System

5. Employee Active-Shooter Training

Going Above and Beyond for Safety in 2014

In addition to the five key improvements, PCC also contracted a security expert with AFIMAC for further recommendations. The security expert visited the campus and met with PCC Police, faculty, staff, and Winterville Police to devise a campus-wide security plan. The plan was provided to PCC officials in November and, based on initial reviews, PCC officials have included additional safety measures for 2014.

An eight-member Emergency Committee has been established consisting of PCC’s Police Chief Jay Shingleton, President G. Dennis Massey, the vice presidents of each division, Facility & Construction Director Tim Strickland, and Assistant Vice President for Information Technology Services Rick Owens. The committee will guide emergency responses and streamline the processes by working from any of three emergency operations centers located on campus.

The committee will also increase the efficiency of sending out emergency broadcasts by placing the task solely on PCC Police dispatch. In previous years the PCC Police, PCC Information Technology and other departments shared the task of broadcasting emergency messages.

In a final push toward safety, PCC officials plan to do an active shooter drill on campus in 2014. They have also voted to speed up the implementation of campus-wide surveillance cameras by including them in the college’s capital budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.