PCC eyes safety measures

By CHELO GRUBB

Logo - AztecPressPoliceBeatPima Community College is revamping its safety procedures as a result of a robbery and attempted assault that occurred on Downtown Campus in January.

In a Feb. 14 email to Pima employees, interim Chancellor Suzanne Miles said the college will look into an opt-in text message system to alert students and staff about on-campus incidents. The college hopes to have a plan in December.

“If we can get it done sooner, we will,” PCC spokesman C.J. Karamargin said in an email.. “First and foremost, we want to get it right. Our goal is to move as quickly as possible.”

The college notified students taking classes at Downtown Campus via email the day after the robbery.

“We recognize that issuing a bulletin the day after an incident involving public safety occurs, as was the case last month, is too late,” Miles said in her email.

Other safety changes will be taking place more immediately.

For future incidents, the college is considering sending notifications to all Pima emails, updating the website more immediately and asking faculty to read a notice in their classes.

“Our No. 1 goal is public safety. If there is an imminent threat to public safety – violent activity, hazards or major disruptions – people should know about it as quickly as possible,” Karamargin said. “A car that is broken into at a campus parking lot, for example, would not rise to this level.”

The college is also looking into the possibility of having “Shooter Drill Training” this summer and adding to PCC’s Department of Public Safety staff.

Miles’ email says an informational video including “active shooter information” is being placed on the college’s intranet.

By the end of May, the college plans to have a radio for each campus’ Action Team hooked up to PCC’s Department of Public Safety. May 31 is also the deadline for each campus to develop an emergency safety plan for the student services area.

The college has set a Jan. 21, 2014 deadline an external agency audit safety practices and will look into the legality of locking classroom doors from the inside.

The Jan. 18 robbery and attempted assault is still under investigation, with no new information available.

The suspect is a black male with dreadlocks, early 20s, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-11. Anyone with details is urged to call 911 or 88-CRIME.

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