Campus Safety and Security
Dear Faculty and Staff –
Campus safety and security, specifically, the safety of our students, employees, and guests are of utmost importance.
Periodically, I’ve shared information about actions taken to increase safety on campus and our ability to deter or react to emergencies. As you know, we have implemented numerous measures in the last few years that include additional training, new technologies, and new safety equipment. Because we have a number of new employees, it seems a good time to report on some of the campus safety preparations.
The USC Aiken Police Department has hired replacement officers recently. Again, as has been our practice, we hire state certified law enforcement officers who work 24/7 rotations. Currently, the campus has more than 100 cameras strategically located around campus, both inside and outside buildings, in parking lots and highly trafficked areas. They serve to assist the police in their investigative work and allow for additional surveillance. We continually evaluate how and where to increase camera usage. The decision of where to locate cameras is driven by an evaluation of risk.
In addition to patrols by officers and security cameras, safety measures include blue light call boxes located all over campus, voiceover alarm systems, panic buttons in offices and buildings, locks on all classroom doors, police escorts upon request, increased lighting, traffic calming measures, new technology to provide emergency information, increased emergency training, and multiple tabletop and simulated scenarios each year, along with a host of other security measures we don’t discuss publicly.
A few years ago, we named all our internal streets and assigned numbers to each building in order to make it easier for emergency personnel to pinpoint locations when situations occur. Additionally, the university maintains agreements with the local police, emergency management, and public health agencies so we can collaborate and work together in the event of an emergency. Always assessing “what’s next,” the university engages outside reviewers to evaluate our progress and safety management plans. This helps ensure that we our contingency plans are based on current best practices.
As has been the practice for some time, every year, our members of the operations departments and USC Aiken police officers walk the campus with members of SGA to discuss where we can use more lighting or call boxes. Our current SGA plans to convene a small group of students and staff members to identify ways to educate the campus on issues involving safety and security as well as make recommendations to promote a safe campus community. Additionally, I hope you will feel free to make suggestions about issues you might see so that together we can help make the campus better prepared to address an emergency. Please feel free to contact Chief Liles, Brian Enter, or me with your ideas.
While we are proud of the progress made, we can never relax our work in this important area.
All the best,