New campus safety booklets to be placed in classrooms over break

Geraldine Smith, Arapahoe Pinnacle Editor

A new Emergency Response Guide will be posted in every ACC classroom, near the phone, over Winter Break.

In addition, pocket-size copies will be available in the Campus Police office.

The guides provides information on responding to multiple potential trouble scenarios.

Cindy Somers, vice president of administrative at ACC, said the parent Colorado Community College System hired a security consulting group a year ago to assess safety issues for the 13 CCCS institutions.

“Each campus had plans in place to deal with emergency situations such as weather, intruders, evacuations, bomb threats and all other contingencies, but the responses were not uniform,” Somers said.

After the security advisors had visited every campus, they returned with one major concern: Each campus had an emergency plan in place, but the language and methods of execution varied from campus to campus.

“CCCS felt the plans needed to be consistent within the system and asked the security team to assess strengths and weaknesses within the entire system and create a policy template,” Somers said. “The best practices were incorporated into the system emergency response policy template.”

Using this template, Somers and Chief Joseph Morris of the campus police revamped the ACC plan in line with the template provided by the security advisors. Officer Raul Araujo created the new Emergency Response Guide with input from Somers and Morris.

When the guides are distributed to the ACC classrooms, a companion poster entitled In An Emergency will highlight immediate actions to be taken in emergencies. Room numbers will be posted inside each classroom at the same time where anyone calling for assistance can easily read them.

A pocket-size emergency guide is available upon request from the campus police, and it is important that every individual periodically reviews the classroom emergency guide or their personal copy. Responsibility lies with the individual to be aware of their surroundings and to be able to locate the classroom phone and the emergency guide if the need arises.

Having an emergency policy and educating employees and students is mandated by the federal government under the Clery Act, federal legislative reform enacted through the efforts of the parents of Jeanne Clery who was murdered on a college campus. This act is the result of her parents’ efforts to make the college campuses safe for students through better information and policies.

ACC’s compliance committee is charged with ensuring all students and employees are aware of the safety procedures and policies of the college.