Safety Committee producing plan in light of recent national campus shootings

Evan Wesley

In recent months, violent campus shootings have moved to the forefront of the national media. Talks of the government mandating special security to help prevent further tragedies from happening have also surfaced. The Diablo Valley College Safety Committee realizes the urgency in producing a comprehensive and effective plan to prevent such tragic measures.

In response to questions posed by the DVC Inquirer, Chrisanne Knox, the Director of Marketing and Communications and co-coordinator of the Safety Committee met with Chris Leivas, the Vice President of Finance and Administration, and Lieutenant Chad Wehrmeister to collaborate a collective response.

The Safety Committee is taking steps to prevent and prepare for emergencies. In a collaborative email response they stated, “The Safety Committee schedules meetings twice a month. A variety of issues are discussed at these meetings including procedures, protocols and training needs.”

The DVC Safety Committee and Police Services combine their efforts to prepare for critical situations. The aforementioned response said, “Police Services trains annually for active shooter situations. We have trained approximately 50 safety monitors on campus during the fall semester. This training had an emphasis on critical incident management including lockdown procedures.”

Part of having a safe lockdown procedure would include the ability to lock every door on the campus. Various teachers have voice their concerns about not being able to lock their respective classroom doors from the inside due to the original construction of the building. It is understandable that the absence of this luxury would cause worry, but the DVC administration has begun a plan that will enable a electronic lock system ensuring each classroom safety.

The response via email stated, “All new buildings are constructed with electronic lock systems. One of the features of this system is that all doors can be locked from a remote location during a shelter in place alert. The District intends to install electronic lock systems in all campus buildings; however there is not an estimated time for this to occur.”

The Safety Committee and Police Services are continually looking for new ways to maximize campus safety efforts and promote awareness to both the students and faculty. So what should a student or faculty member do in the midst of a security threat? Chrisanne Knox, Chris Leivas, and Lieutenant Chad Wehrmeister instruct, “Remain calm and whenever possible, avoid becoming directly involved in the situation yourself. Always be aware of your surroundings. Quickly assess the situation and identify existing and potential hazards. If you are outdoors, immediately leave the area and move to a safe area indoors.”

The students and faculty of DVC can contribute to the efforts of the Safety Committee by demonstrating discernment and reporting suspicious activity that may occur to the proper authorities, in this case a campus official or the police. Doing so will spread awareness and prevent any potential harm or threat from becoming a serious issue.