By Mike Dyer, Staff Writer
Although she has been found safe, SCC nursing student Bahia Bisharat’s disappearance from the LU/SCC Allied Nursing and Health Center campus has raised security concerns. While security at the satellite campus is the responsibility of Lindenwood University, it would be easy to wonder just how safe both students and faculty are while present on the main Cottleville Campus. Luckily for us, SCC makes security a high priority. SCC employs a multi-layered security network that includes strategically placed cameras, emergency phones and security personnel.
“SCC is a safe campus with qualified law enforcement officers providing safety and security to the college community” said Bob Ronkoski, Chief of Police & Director of Public Safety for St. Charles. He added, “In early 2008 the SCC Department of Public Safety with the approval of the Board of Trustees was authorized by the State of Missouri to establish a Police Agency.” Ronkoski had nearly 30 years of prior experience working in public safety before coming to SCC in 2007. The college currently employs eight full-time police officers and nine part-time officers. The Department of Public Safety also employs a handful of public safety officers as well as four police dispatchers.
Campus police officers have the same basic training as many other officers in the state. To qualify, they must graduate from a state approved police academy with an average of a thousand hours of basic law enforcement training as well as carry a Missouri POST Certification. They also receive Emergency Medical Training and many receive Crisis Intervention Training.
In addition to well-trained, armed police officers, SCC campus is also flooded with security cameras that cover both outside and inside of buildings. Currently there are about 200 cameras covering all of campus and more are added every year. Ronkoski spoke about the constant growth of the network of cameras saying, “It is a valuable tool for deterring criminal activity and solving crimes that occur.”
While security cameras serve a purpose, sometimes you might find yourself in a situation where you need to make a call for help and your cell phone isn’t available. By using the emergency blue light phones placed around campus you will be put in touch with a security dispatcher. There are seven emergency blue light phones currently on campus. Two are located in the red parking lot, and one each in the purple, yellow, green, blue and orange lots. The Department of Public Safety is looking to add more emergency phones as SCC continues to expand.
All these measures might seem like overkill to some, but it is this “it can always grow” attitude that shows just how seriously the Department of Public Safety at SCC takes their job. So, no matter what kind of problem you might find yourself in, just keep in mind that the Department of Public Safety is keeping a watchful eye. Just like your neighborhood policeman, SCC security staff and protocols are in place to serve and protect.