The Student Publication of Norwalk Community College
Wednesday October 22nd 2014

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Campus scare creates safety

BY ANDREA OJEDA

Recently new safety protocols have taken affect on campus to ensure the safety of students and faculty alike.

A recent incident that tested the new safety protocols came in the form of a mysterious bag left under a bench in the East Campus.

Once the bag was discovered by security in the south wing 911 and the state police were called on to campus.

The south wing holds the Child Development Lab Center, TV Production Studio and Communications and Early Childhood Education classes, and all were warned of the situation.

According to a Coordinator of Early Childhood Education, Joan Parris the children and staff in the CDLS were evacuated and sent to the playground.

“Barbara Smith came and told me to evacuate the children, just to be safe” said Parris.

Once security was notified 911 and the state troopers were called on to campus. The bag was later identified to be a college student’s backpack and posed no threat to Norwalk Community College.

Due to the recent tragedies on campus, security has been upgraded and intensified.

According to Dean of Administration Rose Ellis the West Campus has been outfitted with more than 80 cameras.

 

“We’ve had cameras, we’ve added many more… by December I believe we have all fully functional in the West Campus,” said Ellis.

The phone system has also been upgraded to include emergency buttons. The new system is called Phone Alert.

“An instructor in a class can just push one button and it will identify they have an issue security needs to come. They also have four or five different alerts,” said Ellis.

The different emergency buttons include evacuation due to airborne problems, fire and lockdown. The alert goes to every phone on campus and gives instructions for each situation.

According to Dean Ellis there is a minimum of 10 security guards on both campuses at all times. One security guard is always manning the security desks located at the entryways of both campuses.

Another safety protocol that has taken effect is the closing of certain doors on both campuses after 10 a.m. According to Dean Ellis this protocol is made to help the security guards since the campus has 79 entryways on campus.

“There is no way security can be at every door at any given time, so a preventive measure that we thought would help make people feel a bit more secure would be to close and lock the north and south entry doorways and leave only the main atrium doors open,” said Ellis.

This makes every person and their belongings entering both campuses visible to the security guards who work the desks at the main entryways.

According to Ellis Homeland Security reviewed the plans for safety on campus.

“We had them review our plan to see if we were actually on the right path. If we had the rights things in place… They felt that we had a very strong plan, and a very good plan, but the plan needs to be practiced,” said Ellis.

According to Ellis within a few weeks, a few practice drills will be happening to practice NCC’s safety plan.

 

 

 

 

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